Melanin, geology, sculpture: Notes on form

Melanin, geology, sculpture: Notes on form

Join Ari Larissa Heinrich for 'Melanin, geology, sculpture: Notes on form'

In this talk I’ll read from a work in progress called ‘Decolonial Melanin: Notes on a Pigment.’ The book is a hybrid literary-academic exploration of the social life of melanin, examined partly through the work of the artist Jes Fan, and partly through a decentred investigation of melanin’s role in speculative fiction, scientific discourse, and popular media. The chapter on which today’s talk will draw, “Ejecta,” considers the relationships among geology, colonialism, sculpture, and melanin’s figurative role in constructions of race through a discussion of a) sculpture by Jes Fan featuring melanin pigment in glass; and b) a more personal, growing awareness of Victorian volcanic geology.

About the speaker
Ari Larissa Heinrich is Professor of Chinese Media and Literature at the ANU and writes about contemporary visual cultures from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, with a focus on experimental artworks that employ biological materials like body parts, pathological specimens, and organic chemicals. He has published widely on Chinese and transnational visual cultures, on medical illustration, and on queer theory, and has translated key works of queer literature from late 20th-century Taiwan including Qiu Miaojin’s Last Words from Montmartre (NYRB, 2014) and Chi Ta-wei’s The Membranes (Columbia, 2021).

Event Details
11-12pm Monday 9 August, 2021
Venue: Room 4.69, RSSS Building
Chair: Maria Hynes

Photo by Chuttersnap on Unsplash.


Date & time

Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11am–12pm


RSSS Building, Room 4.69


Ari Heinrich


Beck Pearse


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