Tarsh Bates completed a Master of Science (Biological Arts) in 2012. She has worked variously a researcher in compost science and waste management, a honeybee ejaculator and an art gallery invigilator. Bates is currently a candidate for a PhD (Biological Arts) at SymbioticA UWA where her current research is concerned with gentleness, the aesthetics of interspecies relationships and the human as a multispecies ecology. She is particularly enamoured with Candida albicans.
Image from ‘in vitero’ a durational performance at Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (2011). During the performance Tarsh Bates cared for life forms, such as fruit flies, commonly used for scientific research.
Bates describes her doctoral project:
‘An art/science PhD project exploring what it means to be human when we recognise our bodies as a multi-species ecology. I focus on the intimate and fraught contact zones of biology, aesthetics, culture and care between Homo sapiens and Candida albicans, the single celled opportunistic fungal pathogen commonly known as thrush. This project positions humans and thrush as co-evolved companion species involved in a biopolitical entanglement that is gendered, sexual and often ruthless.’