@ Visual Arts Centre, Bendigo

Nature in the Dark - conference: a trans-disciplinary conference on animal perception at the intersection of the arts, science and conservation

As a spin-off from the Nature in the Dark - project, a continuing art/science/conservation collaboration between the Centre for Creative (CCA), La Trobe University, and the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA), this conference will address our relationship to animals in a wider ecological context by approaching it from artistic, scientific and conservationist angles.

The yawning gaps in our understanding of the intricate connections of eco-systems, which we are still facing today, accentuate also the shortcomings of a cultural understanding of our environment in the time of rapid loss of habitat and biodiversity. It underlines the necessity to address these concerns from a broad and trans-disciplinary background - as this conference is programmed accordingly.

The Nature in the Dark - conference is gathering experts from the areas of Creative Arts, Media, Communication, Literature, Theatre and Performance, Conservation, Environmental Management and Zoology.

The conference serves as finissage of the Nature in the Dark art exhibition at the La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre in Bendigo as well as a kick-off meeting for a second edition of the Nature in the Dark video project.

Date: Saturday 4th October 2014 - 11:00am - 6:00pm
Venue: Visual Arts Centre, La Trobe University in Bendigo - 121 View St, Bendigo, Vic 3550

A Conference in four Acts … :

11:00 - 13:15 Part 1: Animal perception in science
14:00 - 15:30 Part 2: Sensory experience and empathetic response: animals (and protista) in the arts
16:00 - 16:45 Part 3: Hot off the press: Nature Conservation Review 2014
17:00 - 18:00 Part 4: Conservation matters in Bendigo - VNPA panel: Better protection for Wellsford Forest

 It will include presentations by internationally renowned researcher and professionals like professor Peta Tait (LTU), associate professor Adrian Dyer (RMIT), associate professor Linda Williams (RMIT), Dr. Richard Peters (LTU),  Dr. Alexis Harley (LTU), Rob Gration, Matt Ruchel (VNPA), Nick Roberts (VNPA), Dr. Sophie Bickford (Centralvic Biolinks), Dr. Robyn Ballinger, Pat Walters and many more.

The conference is organised by artist/curator Jan Hendrik Brueggemeier (CCA) and zoologist Dr. Richard Peters (LTU). It is supported by VNPA, the Wellsford Forest Conservation Alliance and the La Trobe University Environmental Action Group.

Conference Schedule

11:00 - 11:10 Welcome by professor Norie Neumark, director CCA
11:10 - 11:20 Introduction by Jan Hendrik Brueggemeier, curator CCA
11:20 - 11:30 How do animals sense the world - the colour vision of animals - an introduction by Dr. Richard Peters, LTU
11:30 - 12:15 Seeing through a bees eye: how do pollinators finds flowers in complex environments? by associate professor Adrian Dyers, RMIT
12:15 - 12:45 The acoustic world of bats by Rob  Gration, environmental consultant and leading bat expert
12:45 - 13:00 Animal behaviour through a virtual lens: how the creative arts can help answer questions in biology by Dr. Richard Peters, LTU
13:00 - 13:15 Q'n'A

13:15 - 14:00 break

14:00 - 14:05 Introduction to the speaker by Jan Brueggemeier, curator CCA
14:10 - 14:30 Stop, Look and Listen: Sensory Bodies in Human-Kangaroo Encounters by professor Peta Tait, LTU
14:30 - 14:50 Animal Darwin and the Sympathy Instinct by Dr. Alexis Harley, LTU
14:50 - 15:20 Ocean acidity and contemporary economies of affect by associate professor Linda Williams, RMIT
15:20 - 15:30 Q'n'A

15:30 - 16:00 break

16:00 - 16:45 Hot off the press: Nature Conservation Report 2014 with Matt Ruchel (VNPA) and Dr. Sophie Bickford (Centralvic Biolinks)

16:45 - 17:00 break

17:00 - 18:00 VNPA panel: Better protection for Wellsford Forest with Nick Roberts (VNPA), Dr. Robyn Ballinger and Pat Walters


Download the press release [PDF].
Download the abstracts of presentations and bios of the speaker [PDF].
Download VNPA Nature Conservation Report 2014 [PDF].