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Later on this month, from November 26-28, University of Western Australia’s Center of Excellence in Biological Arts, otherwise known as SymbioticA, is hosting a symposium to explore the diversity of life “through critical investigations in art, ecology, and action.” More about the symposium includes:

The ecology of biodiversity is based upon an uncertain definition, incomplete statistics and the need to act in a world without balance. While multiple flora and fauna databases have being established and are being coordinated, there is an urgent need to engage even more proactively with complex ecosystems and human responses. Artists, scientists, humanities scholars and conservationists will come together to talk of the ‘matters of concern’ around the potentials and futures of biodiversity.

Confirmed Speakers include Professor Bruce Clarke (Professor of Literature and Science, Department of English, Texas Tech University), Professor Timothy Morton (Professor of English (Literature and the Environment), Department of English, University of California, Davis), Associate Professor Anas Ghadouani (School of Environmental Systems Engineering, The University of Western Australia), Greg Pryor (Artist and Lecturer, School of Communications and Arts, Faculty of Education and the Arts, Edith Cowan University), Dr Lesley Instone (Lecturer, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, Newcastle University) and British Artists Dr Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson.

The symposium is free.

SymbioticA is still looking for artwork to display in their biodiversity art online gallery. Within a short amount of time, they seek art that explores the ideas of biodiversity. They’re accepting artwork under one of the four categories:

1. Biodiversity as a concept or idea. This is based primarily on aesthetics in taxonomy and classification trees, artistic renderings of evolution, issues of scale in ecology, and the image of ecological resilience in people’s imaginations.

2. Biodiversity as an issue. This deals with art that displays habitat loss, ecosystem/land degradation, pollution, ecological imperialism and invasions, and climate change.

3. Biodiversity as a way of thinking. This refers to artistic notions of diversity, complexity, adaptive systems, interconnectedness, and resilience.

4. Biodiversity and technoscience: the possibilities and challenges of creating ‘new’ biodiversity. This calls for artist lens in the role of technology and science in creating visions for future biological and cultural diversity.

Those interested in submitting, send your artwork, details of the work, a brief bio, and a link to your website (if available) to Perdita Phillips (perdita.phillips@uwa.edu.au) ASAP or by November 19.

So far, on Animal Visions, I haven’t discussed biodiversity (or cultural diversity) in vivid detail and its various conceptions. But they are concepts that go hand-in-hand with habitat loss and fragmentation (homelessness) and environmental justice, both of which are pertinent to animal rights and animal-human relations. This online gallery is an opportunity to bring concern for animal life (in all its species, ecological, and cultural diversity) and animal-human relations into focus within biodiversity science and conservation. For the scientific artist or the artistic scientist who loves animals, ecosystems, and life, with an eye for ecological justice, this call is for you.