Different Perspective of Life.
By Danusia Young and Dog(s)

Started on: 04/12/10 20:07:00
Medium: Visual

As far as I remember I always had pets (mostly dogs). My father had a big farm so I was introduced to different animals. For my first project I want to collaborate with my dog Max. Max is a yellow lab and in October will be 10 year old. He likes to play with his toys, run in the garden and I regularly observe birds that come to bathe in the fountain. Every morning he sits on the patio and look around for at least two hours. I always wonder what he thinks or what he looks for. It seems that he also has his own daily routine and schedule spatially if it comes to feeding time. The other day I make a decision to read my book sitting on the ground. I never did that before but I was wondering what will happen. I did not call Max to sit with me I was waiting to see how he will react. First he was sitting far a way doing his own thing- as usual in the morning. I try not to look at him. After forty minutes of ignoring me he finally looked in my direction, stood up and came to me. His first move was to look at my book and smell the pages. Next, he gradually sat next to me why still staring at the book. I started to read my book out loud and in the same time watched Max reaction. To my surprised he was sitting quietly and looking at me. I do not know if he was listening but I know one thing he for sure enjoyed sitting next to me. What he did next was very surprising because thought in the past I played with him sitting on the ground but he never sat with me that close for so long. After another twenty minutes of intense reading about Jim Nollman experiences with turkeys Max put his head on my lap and fell asleep. When I finished reading, he opened his eyes but was not in the hurry to get up. I have to say that this experience left me wandering if he really like when I was reading or he was tired and decided to take a nap. I hope it was combination of both. I am glad that I did not call him, as I will do in the past, but let him choose what he wants to do on his own. I think that from now on I will try to sit with him, observe and collaborate.

[Write Comment]
Project Updates
04/19/10 23:46:29 - A new way to see.

This week I tried to sit with Max on the floor or ground outside more often then usual. I wanted for him to accept me or my behavior as something that is normal. I think that some times he looked at me thinking “what is wrong with her”. First, every time I try to sit closer to him he will move few feet away, but after few times he decided to share his space with me. I sat with him for more then hour looking at things that he was looking at or I thought he was looking at. From time to time I noticed him looking at me as trying to make sense of my behavior. After a while I stop focusing on him and started noticing things from completely different perspective. All the things that I saw sanding up appeared now differently. I became aware of the simplest and smallest things around me. I focused more on details as the cracks on the fence that formed unusual shapes or the ants working hard in the grass. It made me think how different we see the world around us. The same object-different perspective, I feel that more abstract from Max point of view. I feel, that we as humans tend to see only the big picture, missing small details and elements that are some times very intriguing and beautiful. In a way, Max show me how remarkable can be a water drop on the floor if I will take the time to really see it.

[Write Comment]
05/02/10 16:07:47 - Reading to Max

For a few weeks know I am reading for Max. Some times he seems to respond to me sitting with him and can listening to my voice for quite a while. After few days I learned quickly when to stop just by looking at him. When he is tired he always moves around, turns his head and if I still do not stop, he starts to make all kind of noises. Same of the noises are very strange. But most of the time he simply looked at me and barked. When I stopped he calmed down. I think he learned fast what he has to do to make me respond to his wishes. The other day I was reading magazine and I have to say that he was, in the beginning, mostly interested in the magazine as an object not as a source of my reading. I think he like the smell of the pages and maybe could recognized smell of other people that touched it before I purchase the magazine in the book store. Because dogs have very good sense of smell their noses can smell up to one million times that of a human's. I observed that Max is not as interested in seeing the objects that surround him, he rather smell them first. I think that smelling is a way of recognizing the world around him. Through smelling he gets all the information he needs. I use image maps to guide me; he uses his personal “smell maps” to navigate around. I have to confess that I tried to smell the magazine but what I got was only smell of the paper.

[Write Comment]
05/26/10 20:15:46 - Unique and Beautiful

The day I came back from the island trip Max was extremely happy. When he saw me he started jumping and barking. I think he missed our time together. I felt bad that I had to leave him for few days so after that I tried to spend more time with him. I missed our time together in the garden, looking at different flowers and observing the world around us. I started looking closely at different thing around me and taking pictures that were inspired by Max point of view. I am learning from him more and more how to again take the time to relax and see even the ordinary things differently. The chair is not longer only the object that we sit on but also interesting compositions of lines and curves. Every picture that I took shows how my perspective changed when looking at things around me. I focused more on the small details that make object unique and beautiful. Every time Max moved to looked at something I fallowed and tried to look at the object in the same way he looked at it and see what he saw. Max seemed to enjoyed our time together, every time he was ready to explore, he made sure I was behind him. If I did not move he barked at me.

[Write Comment]

Comment by meow! (06/06/10 18:05:49):
These are so gorgeous. I wanted to do something like this, but looking at these photos makes me glad I didn't, because there's no way they would have come out as nice. Really beautiful!

06/05/10 14:34:55 - Max Daily Routine

After working with Max I learned not only how to see differently but also more about my friend and companion Max. I will continue our collaboration and enjoyed spending time with him.

[Play Video]

[Write Comment]
06/05/10 15:36:25 - Exploring

There is always something to explore in the garden. Max always finds the time to look at everything and enjoyed his day.

[Write Comment]