“I find no shame in acknowledging my egalitarian relationship with non-human material Being; everything emerges from the same matrix of possibilities”
― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
I am delighted to have accepted an invitation to give a key note at this fascinating symposium. I first read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at the graveside of her parents in St Pancras Churchyard in London.
University Club of Western Australia, 18-19 October 2018,
2018 marks 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. Shelley’s “Creature” is usually conceived as a human creation, the stitched-together, tragic victim of scientific and technological experimentation. We rupture these stitches, revealing that the Creature is more than the sum of its parts. SymbioticA and Somatechnics join forces to present Quite Frankly: It’s a Monster Conference. We invite you to explore the dynamic ecosystems evolving within and from the gaps between the Creature’s fragments.
Life has become a raw material for re-assembling organisms, tools and consumer products. We are firmly entrenched in a “[bio]informatics of efficiency,” where both biology and technology are subjected to control, optimisation, computation and surveillance at ever decreasing and increasing scales. In light of current ecological and bio-political devastation, we induce extinction.
Keep calm and contaminate. There is hope, there is resistance; the Creature offers the potential to escape control and fight back.
Quite Frankly invites explorations that (re)form kinships and provide niches of refuge and asylum for explorations at the limits of precarity. We encourage liberations of Frankenstein’s Creature from its anthropocentric singularity to an intra-active entanglement; from the living-dead to the compost-able. We revel in re-craftings of biotechnical industrialisations and commodifications and managerial aesthetics. As Karen Barad reminds us, “the political potential does not stop with regeneration, for there are other wild dimensions within and without that rage with possibilities.”
Join us to unpick the Creature’s stitches and liberate its companion species - we are calling for all voices to provide critical re-examinations of diverse re-creation stories.