Encountering Materiality

I'll be talking about my art practice and research at the Encountering Materiality conference in Geneva, 23-25 June 2016. With materiality as its focus and transdisciplinarity as its mode, the Encountering Materiality conference will address diverse ways of knowing, interpreting and engaging with matter. As contemporary societies meet philosophical and earthly limits, we are being confronted with the difficulty of articulating what materiality and matter are. Faced with anthropogenic alterations of numerous ecosystems and in light of developments in the sciences of ecology, geology and climatology, we have been forced to rethink our places and functions in the collective environment of planet Earth. Drawing on the fields of New Materialism and the Environmental Humanities, the conference is not restricted to them. Rather, it will address how sciences, arts and texts enact encounters with materiality as an entanglement of relationships, meanings, matter and movement. 
Encountering Materiality: Science, Art, Language, 23-25 June 2016, Batiment des Philosophes (Philosophers’ Building), 22 Boulevard des Philosophes, 1205 Genève, Switzerland. encounteringmateriality.org
My conference presentation is titled A beeswax sensorium, and reflects on sensory encounters with beeswax in my art practice, exploring embodied engagements in experiential, tangible and bio-mimicry processes. The aromatic, tactile and visual qualities of beeswax present in the making and viewing of these artworks, evokes an engagement with the material’s origins, history, present and future. Such embodied synesthetic experiences connects to the hive, the bees’ honeycomb home and the super-organism of the colony, as a nurturing life force for the bees and their vital pollination role in complex ecosystems, in which both insects and humans are inextricably entangled.
Encountering Materiality conference program

Kath Fries, Visiting honeybee, BigCi studio Bilpin, NSW Australia, 2015