Dancing With Cats Burton Silver and Heather Busch Related animals: Cat, Human Related Website: The Museum of Non-Primate Art
"Of course it is a hoax, but all art is a hoax. Every art movement starts as a joke or a sham and then becomes a serious occupation or revelation." (Melamid about his work on painting with Elephants, a very real project.)
While this book is written as a joke, it is more interesting to read as a "revelation". Nice descriptions and pictures of humans and cats dancing together. Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]Review by csh
Although this book was a presentation to bring the artistic aspects of collaboration with cats, the fact that the book states in the beginning, “We will probably never know for sure why cats dance with us…” had me as a skeptic from the very beginning. The book begins with a Preface, telling readers how the book almost couldn’t come about. It seemed to state that getting the cats to dance in public or in front of the cameras was a difficult task, and almost led to the hypothesization that cat dancing was only done in private. Luckily, Arija (pronounced Aria) and her cat was able to put on a show for the authors/ producer’s lens.
The book notes that the earliest written records of cat dancing dated back to 1692, and the practice of cat dancing was “alluded to” in nursery rhymes such as Hey diddle daddle.
• Lovely photos, of humans and animals in artistic expression.
• The book does not really attempt to signify or utilize any scientific experiments, observations, or evidence, as to why cats are provoked to dancing with humans, and their simple release of energy.
When I went through reading and studying the images and text, I found it a bit hard to piece up everything, since little evidence or studies proved that cats were dancing and collaborating with humans. The fact that the book had mention its desperation and its encounter with lack of cooperation of participants, led me to some skeptical conclusions:
• The images could be highly well photoshoped, due to desperation, pictures of cats in explosive energetic poses could have been taken, and humans then staged to imitate that cats sporadic movements.
• The book also states that the cat’s response was not only to human interaction, but the combination of the aforementioned and music. The beat, frequency, or melody, could have been a major contender as to why dancing with cats is possible. I remember I’ve tried doing poses with my pet cat when I was younger, but he would always just sit and watch me curiously. He gave me a responsive look (as if I was dumb or something) instead of a responsive action.
These are just a few of the things I noticed and questions that came to mind. The whole idea of dancing with cats just might be very well be fake. Or they could re-title it as Cat Beat: The Energetic Movements of Feline Dancer.
Politics of Nature - How to bring The Sciences into Democracy Bruno Latour
"...establishes the conceptual context for political ecology--transplanting the terms of ecology into more fertile philosophical soil than its proponents have thus far envisioned....proposes an end to the old dichotomy between nature and society--and the constitution, in its place, of a collective, a community incorporating humans and nonhumans and building on the experiences of the sciences as they are actually practiced"Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]
Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home Rupert Sheldrake Related animals: Cat, Dog, Human Related Website: Rupert Sheldrake
Presenting research on pets ability to find their way home, knowing things about their owners etc. and trying to explain how it works partially through his idea of morphic fields. Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]Review by tash lloyd
This Book was an excellent source for insight into a dog's "sixth sense." With chapters specializing in several different areas of dog (and even other species') talents, the author utilizes actual stories and scientific evidence to prove his point. And that is merely this- Dogs most definitely have abilities to sense things humans cannot. Whether it be unseen diseases, an owner coming home, or even an upcoming death- there are several accounts of dogs detecting things ahead of time. Also, there are chapters focused on dogs who are trained to help people. Other than the well-known seeing eye dogs, there are dogs who specialize in serving diabetic owners- barking when they detect the human's blood-sugar is dangerously low. This book was fascinating and easy to read. I reccommend it to anyone who has ever owned, or even known a dog who they knew was special.
The Companion Species Manifesto : Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness Donna J. Haraway Related animals: Dog, Human
A nice little book about the relationship between humans and dogs, or with companion species in general. Haraway, who is most famous for her "cyborg manifesto" continues to break down the culture/nature distinctions.Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]Review by carita
This short manifest explores the companion species relationships between humans and other signifcant others, focusing on dogs as the significant other. The introduction is very philosophical, and talks of issues of cyborgs, of which Harraway is most famous, feminism, naturecultures, all in within the context of the signficant other. She continues with the manifesto by telling different stories of dog/human relations, including evolutionary stories, training stories, agility stories, love stories, and breed history stories. The whole manifesto is a good tool for understanding the relationship of dogs and humans existence and evolution together. In the end Harraway quotes Helen Verran's stating "It's about... 'getting on together", dog and human, living as companion species.
Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal Cary Wolfe (Editor)
Several essays examining the human nonhuman separation and issues stemming from that separation.
"...from Jurassic Park and the "horse whisperer" Monty Roberts, to the work of artists such as Joseph Beuys and William Wegman; from foundational texts on the animal in the works of Heidegger and Freud, to the postmodern rethinking of ethics and animals in figures such as Singer, Deleuze, Lyotard, and Levinas; from the New York Times investigation of a North Carolina slaughterhouse, to the first appearance in any language of Jacques Derrida's recent detailed critique of Lacan's rendering of the human/animal divide"Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]
Animal Rites Cary Wolfe
Interesting book comparing varoius standpoints on "the question of the animal", with discussion on Derrida, Wittgenstin, Animal Rights an much more.Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]Review by markb
The book "Animal Rites", by Cary Wolfe, examines the application of theory from Derrida, Lyotard, Cavell, and others, onto animals while dealing with humanism and ethics. Topics of race, sexuality, animality, and colonialism are applied to our understanding and interaction with animals.
The Beluga Cafe Jim Nollman Related animal: Beluga Related Website: Interspecies.com
Nollman describes his journey to the Arctic to play music with beluga whales.
"The book tracks the entire excursion from Nollman's efforts to get funds for the trip, believing that his desire to play underwater music is as deserving of a grant as other scientific methods"Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]Review by britt
Some of the challenges addressed in this book about doing interspecies collaboration...
The animal might not respond to your approach to collaborating.
The animal could respond in a negative way to your approach.
You might not like the way the animal approaches you.
You might respond in a negative way to the animal's approach.
Be aware of the environment in which you are moving. If this is not your stomping grounds, then you need to be sensitive to the habits of the ones who live there.
If the animal responds negatively to you, withdraw your efforts and reconsider your approach. Are you trying to incite a specific reaction from this animal or are you allowing them to act creatively and with freedom. If you approach the animal with an agenda, most likely you will come away unsatisfied with the results.
If the animal approaches you in a way that is not satisfying to the piece in which you are aspiring to collaborate on, allow this to be an opportunity to learn and to be inspired. What can you take away from this experience? What reaction were they trying to incite from you? How can you use this in your future collaboration?
In your collaborative process, you could find the manner of the animal negative or intimidating towards you. This is not a beneficial situation and the best thing to do would be to withdraw. If you try to collaborate with anyone who has negative intentions, this will adversely affect your piece (unless, however, your art is based on an underlying theme of tension and struggle, then by all means, have a go at it). Related Website: Interspecies.com
The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals E.P Evans
"an amazing assemblage of court cases in which animals have been named as defendants" Originally published in 1906. Interesting how animals used to be tried in courts while they were/are not considered having souls or free will etc.Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]Review by Mandingo
The book gives an interesting historical background to the idea that animals would be independantly capable of commiting crimes. The text is actually a reproductions of medieval case studies of lawyers who defended animals in matters of excommunication and pestilence. The pests are duelly warned to leave town in most cases and to quit neighboring areas, then if the pests do not leave they are warned of their fourthcoming prosecution. In one case, a town in France charged and found guilty the eels of a particular lake and warned them that if they did not vacate the lake or stop depleting it of it's fish resources, they would be excommunicated from the church as well as condemned to a plague by God and thus, be smited. It's interesting to see the mix of religious dogma and the way they use it to punish the convicted as well as to prove that the creature did willfully intend to harm the lands around them. Both entertaining and highly thought-provoking I would fully recommend a person takes this one chapter at a time to enhance their day. This book really scews the beliefs we have today in our supposedly "enlightened" era of understanding when it comes to our animal neighbors.
Timbuktu Paul Auster Related animals: Dog, Human
A story about a dog who lives with a homeless guy who is working on an art project for the dog. A quite unusual perspective...dog telling a story about being the audience of art..Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]
Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior Temple Grandin & Catherine Johnson Related animals: Cow, Dog, Horse, Human
Temple Grandin has been known to crawl through slaughterhouses to get a sense of what the animals there are experiencing. An autistic woman who as a child was recommended for institutionalization, Grandin has managed not only to enter society’s mainstream but ultimately to become prominent in animal research. An associate professor at Colorado State University, she designs facilities used worldwide for humane handling of livestock. She also invented a "hug machine" (based on a cattle-holding chute) that calms autistic children. In Animals in Translation, co-authored with science writer Catherine Johnson, Grandin makes an intriguing argument that, psychologically, animals and autistic people have a great deal in common—and that both have mental abilities typically underestimated by normal people. The book is a valuable, if speculative, contribution to the discussion of both autism and animal intelligence, two subjects on which there is little scientific consensus. (from Scientific American)Submitted by godwin [Write Review]
Electric Animal Akira Mizuta-Lippit
Since animals do not have language, they cannot reflect on their own mortality. It is a human capacity only to imagine nothingness, non-being, or death. Through an analysis of Western philosophy, Lippit reveals that animals cannot die. The lack of language “prevents animals from experiencing death; this in turn suspends the animal in a virtual, perpetual existence. The figure of the animal determines a radically antithetical counterpoint to human mortality, to the edifice of humanism” (73). The modern era, through scientific and technological advance, enforces a severance from direct contact with nature and animals, and therefore this counterpoint has been weakened. Through the separation from nature and the animal, the very definition of humanity has begun to falter, and humanity becomes dehumanized.Submitted by nicholevb [Write Review]
Why Paint Cats (the ethics of feline aesthetics) Burton Silver, Heather Busch Related animal: Cat
Artists who paint cats; some interesting assertions that made it seem as more of a collaboration than simply "using" the cats as canvasses. A few such desings: a wallpaper pattern to help a shy cat feel more comfortable in its environment; a dog shape painted on a cat to protect it from a neighborhood dog; a priest's white collar on a priest's cat to give it status and moral sway. possibly a photoshop hoax; if not, it's pretty neat.Submitted by wbeck [Write Review]
Last Chance to See Douglas Adams, Mark Carwardine Related animal: Human
exploration of some of the world's endangered animals, and their relationships with/treatment by the humans who exist in their environments.Submitted by wbeck [Write Review]
Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond Related animals: Ape, Bird, Cat, Cow, Coyote, Dingo, Dog, Elephant, Gorilla, Grizzly Bear, Hippo, Horse, Human, Monkey
Diamond's book subtitled, "The Fates of Human Societies" attempts to shed light on how and why human societies arose the way they did in prehistory. Of particular relevance to our coursework are chapter 9: Why were most big mammal species never domesticated, and chapter 11: the evolution of germs.Submitted by godwin [Write Review]
King Solomon's Ring Konrad Z. Lorenz
a book written by a 1950's naturalist. the subtitle alone is significant, "the human side of animals delightfully described." it is fairly amusing to read the outdated ideas on how animals percieve things (the ability of ants to follow a trail, for example, is ascribed to their incredible memory.) there are still some fairly advanced ideas about animals, including one chapter titled "why we laugh at animals," which attempts to examine how humans frame the activities and lives of animals in their own frame of reference.Submitted by wbeck [Write Review]
Dolphin DREAMTIME Jim Nollman Related animals: Dolphin, Human
Interesting chapter about one of his projects with dolphins off the coast of Careyes, 100 miles South of Puerto Vallerta along the pacific coast of Mexico.Submitted by Brose [Write Review]
Animal Language Michael Bright
Mostly about the type of communication animals use with each other. Seems to be focused on auditory senses.Submitted by Brose [Write Review]
The Cognitive Animal Marc Bekoff, Colin Allen, & Gordon M. Burghardt
Contains chapters about the cognitive mind of animals such as ground squirrels, ravens, dolphins, pigeons, parrots and jumping spiders. The chapters go into detail about experiences with specific animals.Submitted by Brose [Write Review]
Animal Play Behavior Robert Fagen
Defines play behavior in mammals and birds. Chapter about play strategies and affects of play in correlation to the age of the animal. Submitted by Brose [Write Review]
The Genesis of Animal Play Gordon M. Burghardt
Behavioral play in animals. From birds to reptiles and vertebrate play. Emphasizes on 3 types of plays: Locomotor, Object, and Social. Tables and charts explainning which animals participate in the types of play described by the author. It also rates the overall play behavior of animals from 1.0 (lowest score) to 3.0 (highest score). I found this to be extremely helpful in deciding which animasl I might be able to collaborate with for projects that could actually be successful.
"Recall that exploration is a response to novelty itself; animals manipulate objects to test them and gain information. Play occurs only when the animal repeatedly engages and interacts with the object in order to "see what I can do with it." Exploration of a given stimulus habitutates quickly; even if the stimulus is removed and reintrodced later, it evokes little further response. This distinction between play and curiosity is particularly important in evaluating object play in birds" (Burghardt, 248).Submitted by Brose [Write Review]
Animal Play edited by Marc Bekoff and John A. Byers
Talks about play behavior with certain animals as well as the interworkings of how and why animals play. Submitted by Brose [Write Review]
The Dolphins of Hilton Head Cara M. Gubbins Related animals: Dolphin, Human
Observations of dolphins, as well as how they communicate with humans and other dolphins is explained in this book. The book also talks about the intelligence and behaviors of dolphins.Submitted by Brose [Write Review]
MacGregor Was a Dog Diane Redfield Massie Related animals: Dog, Ostrich
after reading about/posting the website about Stalking Cat, i was reminded of another instance of one species emulating another; this one in the form of a children's book i remember from my childhood. the book starts out, "Macgregor was a dog; who wanted to be an ostrich..." and unfolds the tale of macgregor's surprising success from there. a fascinating way to introduce young children to interspecies relationships!Submitted by wbeck [Write Review]
Wanderlust: A History of Walking Rebecca Solnit
This is Amazon.com's review:
The ability to walk on two legs over long distances distinguishes Homo sapiens from other primates, and indeed from every other species on earth. That ability has also yielded some of the best creative work of our species: the lyrical ballads of the English romantic poets, composed on long walks over hill and dale; the speculations of the peripatetic philosophers; the meditations of footloose Chinese and Japanese poets; the exhortations of Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman.
Rebecca Solnit, a thoughtful writer and spirited walker, takes her readers on a leisurely journey through the prehistory, history, and natural history of bipedal motion. Walking, she observes, affords its practitioners an immediate reward--the ability to observe the world at a relaxed gait, one that allows us to take in sights, sounds, and smells that we might otherwise pass by. It provides a vehicle for much-needed solitude and private thought. For the health-minded, walking affords a low-impact and usually pleasant way of shedding a few pounds and stretching a few muscles. It is an essential part of the human adventure--and one that has, until now, been too little documented.
Written in a time when landscapes and cities alike are designed to accommodate automobiles and not pedestrians, Solnit's extraordinary book is an enticement to lace up shoes and set out on an aimless, meditative stroll of one's own. --Gregory McNamee
Submitted by lhyatt [Write Review]
Augmenting the Animal Kingdom Lakshmi Sandhana
Check out the images -
"Auger envisions animals, birds, reptiles and even fish becoming appreciative techno-geeks, using specially engineered gadgets to help them overcome their evolutionary shortcomings, promote their chances of survival or just simply lead easier and more comfortable lives."Submitted by nicholevb [Write Review]
Animal Talk: Interspecies Telepathic Communication Penelope Smith
"Have you ever wondered what you cat or dog or horse is thinking? Animal Talk presents tired-and-true telepathic communication techniques developed by the author that can dramatically transform people's relationships with other species on all levels -- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It explain how to solve behavior problems, how to figure out where your animal hurts, how to discover animals' likes and dislikes, and why they do the things they do. You can learn the language that will open the door to your animal friends' hearts and minds. In addition to teaching people how to develop mind-to-mind communication with animals, Animal Talk discusses freedom, control, and obedience; understanding behavior from an animals' point of view; how to handle upsets between animals; tips on nutrition for healthier pets; and the special relationship between animals and children. "Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]
Allospecific Referential Speech Acquisition in Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithscus Irene M. Pepperberg
) Evidence for Multiple Levels of Avian Vocal Imitation
This was an article in the book, Imitation in Animals and Artifacts.
It is a scientific research article about the imitation of parrots. Pepperberg test her research on a Grey parrot by the name Alex that went beyond what was expected. He could recognize colors, objects and more and at the end of his life he said to his owner, 'Be good. I love you.'
Submitted by Ash [Write Review]
Modoc Ralph Helfer Related animal: Elephant
"Spanning seven decades and three continents, Modoc is one of the most amazing true stories ever told. Raised together in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant formed a bond that would last their entire lives, and would be tested time and again: through a near-fatal shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, an apprenticeship with the legendary Mahout elephant trainers in the Indian teak forests, and their eventual rise to the circus stardom in 1940s New York City. Modoc is a captivating true story of loyalty, friendship, and high adventure, to be treasured by animal lovers everywhere."
Submitted by cori [Write Review]
Friskies Adventureland Commercial Friskies, unknown Related animal: Cat
This is a really cute and funny commercial that combined film with animal performance talent (somewhat) to create. It is very silly, cute, and enjoyable. I just thought it was funny and should be posted on the siteSubmitted by alliharrod [Write Review]
The Postmodern Animal Steve Baker
"In The Postmodern Animal, Steve Baker explores how animal imagery has been used in modern and contemporary art and performance, and in postmodern philosophy and literature, to suggest and shape ideas about identity and creativity. Baker cogently analyses the work of such European and American artists as Olly and Suzi, Mark Dion, Paula Rego and Sue Coe, at the same time looking critically at the constructions, performances and installations of Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, Joseph Beuys and other significant late twentieth-century artists. Baker's book draws parallels between the animal's place in postmodern art and poststructuralist theory, drawing on works as diverse as Jacques Derrida's recent analysis of the role of animals in philosophical thought and Julian Barnes's best-selling Flaubert's Parrot."
I have only read selected chapters so far but they are thought provoking and also functions as an overview of how artists have treated the subject of the human/non-human animal relationship.Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]
Elephants Can Paint Too! Katya Arnold Related animal: Elephant
Children's book about elephant paining. Of course it is questionable if we can consider painting made by elephants or other non-humans directed by a human. Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]
Obey the Pure Breed Unknown
This is a humorous website of an artist whose work mocks "authoritarian/totalitarian" propaganda by placing the faces of animals in the limelight as the fictional ruler that all are under. It is quite hilarious.Submitted by alliharrod [Write Review]
Dolphin Dreamtime : Jim NollmanRelated animal: Dolphin
Nollman's work describes his encounters with orcas, whales, and buffalo, encounters in which he used musical instruments to create a dialogue. The book opens with the Australian aborigine concept of "dreaming," and in the final chapters reinforces that idea in a discussion of Nollman'sconcepts of intelligence, interspecies comradeship, and natural wisdom. The book conveys the author's joy and sense of brotherhood in communicating with animals. Submitted by nusia [Write Review]
Built By Animals: the Natural History of Animal Architecture Mike Hansell Related animals: Beaver, Bower Bird, Butterfly, Camel, Caribou, Cat, Cheetah, Chicken, Chimpanzee, Chinchilla, Clownfish, Cockatoo, Cockroach, Conure, Corn Snake, Cow, Coy Fish, Coyote, Crab, Crane, Cricket, Crow, Deer, Desert Rabbit, Dingo, Dog, Dolphin, Domestic Pet, Dragonfly, Ducks (Mallard), Ducks (Not Mallard), Elephant, Ferret, Firefish, Fish, Flea, Fly, Fox, Frog, Frogs, Garibaldi, Giraffe, Goat, Gorilla, Green Mandarin, Grizzly Bear, Ground Squirrel, Hamster, Hawk, Hermit Crab, Hippo, Honey Badger, Horse, Human, Hummingbird, Hump Back Whale, Humpback Whale, Imaginary Monkey, Insect, Island Skunk, Kitten, Koi, Koi Fish, Ladybug, Lion, Lizard, Llama, Lovebird, Lyrebird, Macaw, Mallard Duck, Mice, Minature Horse, Mole, Monkey, Mosquito, Mosquito Eater, Moth, Mule Deer, Ocelot, Octopus, Orca, Ostrich, Owl, Parakeet, Parrot, Parrotlet, Pelagics, Peregrine Falcon, Pig, Pigeon, Polar Bear, Pond Life, Pot Belly Pig, Pot-Bellied Pig, Powder Blue Tang, Puffer Fish, Quail, Rabbit, Raccoon, Rat, Raven, Rockfish, Rooster, Salamander, Scrub Jay, Sea Lion, Sea Urchin, Seagull, Seahorse, Seal, Shark, Silk Moth, Skunk, Snail, Snake, Spider, Termite
An emeritus professor of Animal Architecture at the University of Glasgow studies how animals shape their own environments from a distinctively human perspective on construction. He argues that less intelligent species can still create highly intelligent designsSubmitted by mreeves [Write Review]
Artist Animal Steve Baker
"Animals have always been compelling subjects for artists, but the rise of animal advocacy and posthumanist thought has prompted a reconsideration of the relationship between artist and animal. In this book, Steve Baker examines the work of contemporary artists who directly confront questions of animal life, treating animals not for their aesthetic qualities or as symbols of the human condition but rather as beings who actively share the world with humanity."
Submitted by LisaJ [Write Review]
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary David Sedaris Related animals: Bird, Cat, Chicken, Dog, Fox, Ground Squirrel, Human, Mice, Monkey, Squirrel, Tortoise
A book written by famous, comic writer, David Sedaris. It contains a series of short stories about a variety of animals from dogs to owls. I think he does a good job of anthropomorphizing the animals while maintaining their inherit animal characteristics. Submitted by Ttapscott [Write Review]
Insects and humans: a relationship recorded in visual art Barret Anthony Klein
I found this article while trying to research the relationship that people have with insects. This article explains how insects were used in art hundreds of years ago and also the contemporary art that is being made today. It also explains different ways that people view insectsSubmitted by marissa [Write Review]
Some we Love, Some we Hate, Some we Eat Hal Herzog
This book has been one of my all time favorite recourses on human and animal interactions. The book is composed of short allegories from various people in various situations involving animals, from working in a lab and experimenting on cats, to getting your first dog, to eating steak with your kids, to little boys who hurt ants with magnifying glasses. The author is a some-what progressive philosopher/professor and is NOT vegetarian, which makes it a less bias read. I found this book eye opening, easy to read, and I quote it all the time! Submitted by mwanamaker [Write Review]
Interspecies Art Show
This is a description of an art show that took place in 2009. The concept behind this show is very similar to the aims of this class. Its an interesting comparison.Submitted by vkittle [Write Review]
Chimps Learn to Collaborate!Related animal: Chimpanzee
This is an article about new research looking into the origins of collaboration and how animals pick individuals to work together with. Researchers developed a system where chimpanzees would get a treat only if two of them pulled on ropes at the same time. After a while the chimps picked up on which animals were the best to work together with and would always chose to be their partners. They would even chose to work with the more collaborative chimps over the alphas of their group.Submitted by croakn [Write Review]