Playing wtih a Lion
By Sam McKye and Lion(s)

Started on: 04/25/06 12:50:10
Medium: Performance

I am interested in the concept of collaboration with other species from the standpoint of prooving there is an actual collaboration. I will be trying to get in contact with members of the local zoo to see if they would let me get to know and interact with a Lion. I feel canines, felines, birds, and primates are generally the most likely to interact willingly with a human. I will hopefully be able to make some kind of contact to develop a relationship soon. I am also working on tracking down equipment for documenting the project, such as a camcorder. I hope eventually to just be able to basically play with the creature because I feel that art being about creative exprression, the purest form o this is play. In many ways the purely playful acts of all species is the truest form of learning and development as well as creative output and freedom.
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Comment by LisaJ (05/02/06 10:39:45):
When and how is interaction collaboration? How does 'play' function as art?

Project Updates
05/09/06 09:21:14 - Good news bad news

So, two weeks ago I met with some very helpful zoo keepers and talked about my ideas for a project and just general rules and regs of the zoo. We also talked about different possibilities for interaction with animals, and different types. They pointed me in the direction of some interesting side research, which may or may not become relevant. They also came up with a lot of ideas of types of projects that one could do, including the reccuring theme of something musical with birds. The bad news, is that they pretty much lead me to believe that there will be no possible way for me to do any kind of interacting with any of the zoo animals which normal patrons don't have access to. The good news is they may be able to set up some type of demonstration for the public, which I could of course be a part of, and gear it towards this type of project.
So, with that in mind I started trying to come up with another project that would be possibly more do-able. Using my own interests in art as a starting point I decided to do an exploration into the marks verious creatures can make. So, using a roll of canvas and some sort of harmless pigmentation I plan on working with some various house pets to mark up a canvas and see how the marks begin to interact and read with each other visually as a record of an event that took place over time. Or something like that.

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05/09/06 09:25:03 - I don't think the last update worked

So, I came up with an idea that might be more acceptable to the zoo. I'm thinking I can partially finish some paintings or drawings and then through the handlers get them to the animals and let the animals finish them. Or maybe even the reverse. Either way hopefully they will end up finished collaborative pieces and the zoo will be ok with this.

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05/09/06 09:27:40 - bad news

I've been sick all week with one of those really awful headcolds where you can't hear anything and you cough like a tuberculosis victim. But, I'm feeling better today and plan on getting in contact with the zoo's education department whom I have been told by the handlers will be my first big administrative hurdle at the zoo. YAY!!!

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05/23/06 09:51:10 - The meeting and Beyond

So I met witht the Education Director at the zoo, Heather. The meeting went really well and she showed me some examples (to my happy surprise) of paitnings the gorillas had done when they were young. We discussed the feasibility of the project and went over lots of aspects she would be sure that others in the decision making would want to know. We discussed everything from the materials/safety for the animals aspect to the whereand how they might be sold or shown aspect of the project. In the end it was a really great meeting and I was left with writing up a proposal for Heather to circulate around the zoo to the handlers and the overall directors for a group approval of the project. As a side benefit I also got to learn about a bunch of cool things the zoo does every year, including their Halloween events. i'mnow more excited than ever that I chose to try this project!

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05/23/06 09:53:40 - Proposal

Ok, I wrote an e-mail to Heather and though I didn't think it was my final proposal apparently, she though it worked jsut fine because her response said, "thanks for the proposal and I'll send this around, see what everyone thinks and get back to you!" So now, I'm waiting, patient and nervous. Let's hope it works out!

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