Call for Submissions
Issue 3: Art and Herbarium
Guest Editors: Danielle Wyatt and Thomas Bristow
Unlikely is a trans-disciplinary journal, which opens unexpected spaces for artistic exchange and scholarly conversations across mediums, disciplines and continents. Unlikely supports the research community of practitioners, makers, and scholars working in the creative arts.
This international, peer-reviewed publication presents the opportunity for artists working in practice-led research to engage in conversation with a range of arts scholars on contemporary concerns. As an experiment in form, Unlikely engages its audience and contributors in a two-stage process of live event, presenting creative practitioners’ works, followed by peer-reviewed electronic publication.
Art and Herbarium: Creative Ecological Investigations
Herbaria and natural history archives must be more than repositories for artifacts and scientific information. Curators of these collections are aware that while the archives have always been invested with human passions, natural collections are now laden with distinctly contemporary affect as ‘nature’ comes under threat from global challenges like species extinction, habitat loss and the impacts of man-made climate change. While natural collections institutions aim to improve our ecological futures through scientific research, it is clear that ecological literacy also requires involving diverse publics in more embodied, empathetic and ethical relationships with the natural systems that sustain our life on this planet.
Creative Ecological Investigations #1 (CEI#1) is an art project placing a multidisciplinary selection of artists in contact with the University of Melbourne Herbarium to respond creatively to its natural and cultural collections and exhibit their work to a broad public. As vivid communicators, artists are agents for shaping a ‘pedagogy of feeling’ for the archive, building new kinds of relationships with natural collections and the multispecies worlds they index.
The Art and Herbarium project is a touchstone for this journal issue in which we extend this art/science dialogue by seeking a range of critical and creative engagements with archives of natural collections. Contributors might address, but are not limited to, the following prompts:
- What do new methods of engagement and non-scientific disciplinary approaches bring to the study of the natural world?
- How does attentiveness to the archive build embodied or ethical relationships to the natural systems that sustain us?
- How are natural history collections implicated in discourses of colonialism, nationalism, patriarchy and the settler colonial project?
- What new possibilities emerge when natural collections are digitized and networked?
- In what ways are archives sites of emotion and emotional histories?
- How do aesthetic principals shape natural collections archives and our response to them?
Contributions may take the form of artistic works and their documentation, as well as scholarly articles. Scholarly contributions can take the form of critical theoretical essays, or analysis of artistic projects, performances or fieldwork. We will also accept personal or literary narratives and reviews.
Submissions should be in MLA format. Scholarly texts should be between 3000-6000 words including abstracts and works cited. All submissions should be accompanied by a biographical note on the author, no longer than 100 words.
email info(at)unlikely.net.au by March 19th 2017, outlining your contribution (250 words) in terms of both the thematic focus, and its proposed form. The editors will respond, inviting selected contributors to develop their proposal into a full submission to be peer reviewed.
Submissions are due by July 2nd 2017.
Image credit: detail, Wollemia nobilis W.G.Jones, K.D.Hill and J.M.Allen, University of Melbourne Herbarium: MELU G 113379a - images provided by and used with the permission of The University of Melbourne Herbarium, University of Melbourne.