Animal Geospatial Navigation/ Doggie Derive
By Cara Moore, Dog(s) and Ostrich(s)

Started on: 05/26/06 12:39:51
Medium: Visual

This project is influenced by the work of the art group the Situationist International. One theory the Situationist International were particularly interested in was the theory of the derive. A derive is like a walk, but the walker is aware of how their surroundings affect their movement through space. Included in this is psychogeography, defined as "The study of the precise effects of geographical setting, consciously managed or not, acting directly on the mood and behaviour of the individual." (
I want to apply these theories beyond the human species and study how a dog navigates through a space. Basically, I will have a dog walk me. I will track our path with a GPS unit, and take pictures at a certain interval to document my journey. Thus far with I feel my projects I have been focused too much on my goals, and perhaps these goals are more on the animal's level.
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Project Updates
05/28/06 20:06:37 - one less dog to work with

I had two options of dogs I was hoping to use for this project. At the beginning of the year I put out an ad on craigslist asking for local people with pets to allow me to use them, since I have none. I got one response, a girl with a 4 year old lab. I would have really like to use it, but I asked her if I could take her dog for a walk, and I got denied. However, I can still work with Luca, I've been trying to get together with her, but since its not my dog I can't just take it at will. I've called my friend Annie who is housemates with the dog's owner, but I haven't been able to get in touch with her. I'm hoping I can take her out tomorrow.

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06/10/06 16:48:46 - Success!

I took Luca Bella out on friday, and she had no problem taking me for a walk. I turned on my GPS device and brought my camera to record the journey. I tried as hard as I could to take pictures on her level, which proved to be quite difficult because she is so short. As for the actual walk, sometimes we would go fast, and I'd barely be able to keep up, and sometimes we would just sit, taking in the surroundings with our senses, her mostly with her nose, me mostly with my eyes. It was a much different path than I would have chosen. She didn't seem to mind going back and forth over paths we'd already seen. When humans walk we do so very linearly, from point A to point B, not really backtracking just to take in the environment with our senses. She also didn't travel very far from where we started, making me realize all the interesting things within a very small space. Luca has taught me a lot in our little walk, at lot can be learned about our own world and ourselves by observing how animals navigate through it.

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