Stray Cat
By Alexandra Glaser and Cat(s)

Started on: 05/18/09 11:26:37
Medium: Conceptual

There is a stray cat that has shown up in my neighborhood over the past week. It has called to me and wants to collaborate.
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Comment by svasquez (05/22/09 21:38:53):
Please do so! I loved your ideas about following the cat, I'd be very interested to find out where you see this cat and to hear about more encounters you might have with it.

Project Updates
05/25/09 21:47:27 - cat interaction update

My first few encounters with the cat were wonderful. The orange and white cat was friendly, kind but more than anything starved for both attention and proper nutrition. He tended to stay in the parking lot by my complex, often under cars and in the garages. He would follow me and my roommate and in usual cat fashion, moved towards our hands for extra petting. I was excited that this cat was willing to collaborate.

I have marked down every spot in the neighborhood where I have seen the cat, including the reserve behind my house.

In another attempt to collaborate, I went where the cat led me. Although he was not present, I followed in the cats footsteps throughout my neighborhood where I had seen him before and where I felt he would go. This new exploration of an area that I am familiar with brought me to sites I have never before seen, mainly a tree fort. I am hoping to continue to explore the wilderness and see new sites as a result of channeling this cat.

I also bought food to feed him, however he did not eat any. After putting cat food out for five days straight, I attracted thousands of ants but not one feline.

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05/25/09 21:58:43 - EXHIBITION

For the class show, I propose the following:

I will attempt to befriend this cat and (gently) coerce him in to coming to the gallery space for the evening of the show.

This will be a performance piece and the work is actualized through the activities of myself, the cat, and the individuals in at the gallery. The project explores various lines of interspecies communication between a number of individuals.

I will be out in the field finding the cat and attempting to connect with him. I will not be at the gallery.

I will be placing a pay-as-you go cellular phone in the gallery. In the phone is one phone number, mine. The show attendees will be allowed to call me and check in on my progress. I will be calling in and reporting my progress as well.

In addition, I will place a map of my neighborhood in the gallery, marked on it the places that I have spotted the cat. When I call to check in, the individual that answers will be responsible for marking on the map the places that I spot the cat during the show.

Directions will be printed and placed in the gallery.

I am still undecided whether or not I will be giving my quest a time limit. Will I return to the gallery by the closing empty handed? Should I say that I have x amount of time to find the cat and connect and get him to come with me?

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06/07/09 22:03:31 - Kou Ack Ack Ack Exhibition - Meowbile Interaction

I have completed my interactive performance piece for the exhibition and I am pleased with how it turned out.

As mentioned earlier, the project consisted of two parts. The first part was the gallery display which was composed of a self-made map, a cell phone and a dish filled with red and blue push pins. The second part, on site at Ellwood Beach Drive, I was in the field attempting to coerce the stray cat to come back with me to Gallery 1434. The cell phone was used to relay back and forth between myself and the gallery and the push pins were used to mark my location (blue) and the cats location (red). The following directions were written on the walls of the gallery for the viewer to abide by:

Mission: To coerce the stray cat that lives in my neighborhood into accompanying me to Gallery 1434 for the “Kou Ack Ack Ack” show opening


If the phone rings, ANSWER IT


Use the phone to call 201-417-4413.

I will instruct you from there.

An interaction between myself, the cat and the gallery attendees was established.

Starting at 4pm, I received my first phone call from the gallery (even before I stood up from my couch) and after the other human collaborator marked my position with a blue pin, I was off on my mission. I relayed back and forth with the gallery for the next three hours and during this time I put to use the communication skills we have learned in this class. I brought along with me food for the cat as well as devices to center myself in order to achieve another level of communication. At one point I sat in a tree (where I have seen the cat before) and began a meditation, hoping that the cat would sense my calm and desire to communicate. Unfortunately, these efforts went unnoticed by my feline collaborator, and at 7pm I folded and returned back to the gallery cat-less.

I was very pleased with the amount of interaction i had with my other human collaborators. I was able to speak with people in the gallery at a remote location and I believe this was the most successful aspect of the piece. It was a funny thing to me to have conversations with strangers and as the time went on, I experimented more with how people react to me than how they react to the (cat) assignment. For example, I told one girl that I had just found a poop that I was sure belonged to the cat and asked her to place a red pin in the location on the map. I am positive I freaked this girl out and yet she as my collaborator achieved a sense of connection with me and still followed through with marking my position. I believe that I established a sound connection with the gallery even though our communication was mediated and my position was remote.

I am not pleased, however that I did not establish a connection with the stray cat. I tried my hardest (but was also aware not to be TOO desperate after what the animal communicator told to me when I scared T-Bo), and yet I still had no interaction with the cat during the allotted exhibition time. This was a disappointment to me, however I do not feel that my piece suffered as a result. I believe that I achieved what I desired which was so establish a triad of communication between the cat, the gallery and myself.

Below are pictures from the gallery. I also took photographs out in the field, however they are on a film camera and the film has yet to be developed. The pictures from the field will be posted when they are available.

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