How To: Art Made Together with Non-Human Animals
By Lillian Shanahan (06/07/10 08:55:27)
Related animal: Cat

after I had made several drawings with the cat by marking the places she would swat at.

first I started by pretending to draw the cat which would make her curious and walk over to check out what I was doing.

then i would mark where her paws went. I did several of these until she got bored and walked away. distracted by her stuffed mouse in the corner.

i wanted then to put more of myself into the piece because the cat got to choose where the ink went so I collaged his marks into more of a picture. And i called it Catopia because it reminds me of some cat Mesopotamia.

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cats in laps
By Lillian Shanahan (06/07/10 09:02:57)
Related animal: Cat

cats in laps turned out pretty well I think. Some of the drawings i had to improvise on the fur because the cat wouldn't stay for long. But then I figure its just like what I did with the Catopia picture.

the cat provided me the basic shape and outline and then I finished it off on my own.

the legs in the drawing were much more easier to draw. its a good thing human beings like to be glued to their tv sets.

the colors I choose were suppose to make the cats look lively.

because these cats were pretty lively. every one except the cat in the corner, its also the one sprawled out on some ones knee. he was a very easy going cat.

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How To: Other Related Research
Ch. 1 and 4
By Hilary Elizabeth MacDonald (04/07/10 19:12:00)

Chapter one:
The first chapter in The Man Who Talks to Whales by Jim Nollman. We learn about his love for animals. It starts at a young age with snakes and deer etc. The opening story introduces the audience to Jim’s musical encounters with a neighboring turkey. This story was interesting because almost every human has a funny endearing story that involves a curious animal. Jim is easy to relate to in this sense. Also, it was good to hear that Jim’s first love is music and his second animals so easily collaborate. It gives hope to us artists that an animal will work with us in the same way. Its all abut experimenting and trying new things that keep the artists happy and the animals intrigued. This book is a easy read because Jim is charming in his delivery of the information.

Chapter four:
The second Chapter is more species specific starting with the lions and the bushman. It was recorded that lions would be close to the camp fires and some nights the bushman would have enough of the lions roaring and had techniques of convincing the lions to quiet down. Next there were the clownfish and anemone symbiotic relationship. The clownfish use the anemone as protection and the anemones eat the predators that chase the clownfish. This chapter is introducing more of the science behind some animal behaviors. Collaborations in animals and in humans take a lot of mutual respect and mutual trust.

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How To: Interspecies Communication
Collaborating With Animals: What Does It Really Mean?
By Alex Inigo (06/06/06 00:45:39)
Over the course of the quarter, we've encountered many challenges, surprises, and bloopers that sometimes render our collaboration into a disaster. It's important to note however, that these other species are as emotional and cooperative as any human could be. There's many factors that may hinder an artist, whether traditional or otherwise, in trying to cope with the conditions with working with another species. Though I will unwittingly deny any expertise in the field, let it be known that the field - despite having many individuals who claim expertise - is still at its infancy and that you, as an artist interested in this fascinating field, is as good an expert as any other.

1. Remove any preconceptions about the species you are working with.
Most individuals who work with other species are deterred by the idea because of the "obvious" knowledge that we are the smarter species. In order to communicate something to another species, one must not assume dominance over another, as this can possibly create a form of hesitation toward the subject. Try to cater to the species' basic needs and instincts and learn from their actions...

2. Establish trust between you and the species (if applicable).
Sure, this step might not be applicable when you're working with mixing microscopic organisms and food coloring, but can be extremely helpful if you're working with certain species in a much more intimate environment. Establishing trust makes the species more akin towards working with you in addition to making them attempt to be more emphatic about your goals in collaborating with them.

3. Consider that other species react to certain kinds of stimulation differently than humans.
Keep in mind that certain methods of interaction may incite a reaction that, though may seem familiar, may be one that is predatory or insulting to the species. Being observant can help in figuring out when the opposite species is tired, unwilling to work, or hungry. It is important that these bare essentials need to be met as well.

4. Putting yourself in the situation of the species sometimes doesn't work.
This bullet point goes along with number one. Like said in the previous bullet point, sometimes species behave differently... so what you think might be good for the other might be considered bad. Think twice about what you do and observe their reaction to it.

5. Research!
Oddly enough, the most efficient way to communicate with other species is to learn how other humans have done it before you. Wikipedia, though vastly user populated, has reference links at the bottom of each related title (such as Animal Cognition or Animal Communication) that can be further reading if you doubt any of the text on there. Remember that though the goal of interspecies collaboration is to collaborate with non-human species, other humans have attempted what you have already done. In short, don't reinvent the wheel if someone has already tried, experienced, and have written about it.

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How To: Art Made Together with Non-Human Animals
Collaborating With Pets You Do Not Own
By Connie Hwang (05/22/06 12:02:13)
Related animals: Cat, Dog, Human

I want to get to know you, build a relationship, and best of all, make something for you... Ding Ding, you are a quite a character and it's been hard working with you!

When we encounter interactions with species such as dogs, cats, and the other usual house pets, it is easy to become acquaintances. But to fully engage in a collaborative effort either for art, or other personal motives, it takes more than just a sniff of your body odor and a pet on the head.

1. Research
From my experience with working with a Chihuahua named Ding Ding and a poodle named Scottie, it takes a little research at first to start off the initial relationship. Just like humans, we like to get to know about the other person before initiating or exchanging more intimate actions. However, unlike a human, we cannot directly ask questions to a dog, cat, bird, or chinchilla! So we are left to do some of our own research, asking either the owner some questions or looking through the internet or books for information. It would be nice to know what breed your animal is and any pertinent details that might effect your collaboration (such information can be whether the dog is an aggressive breed…etc.).

2 . Get Comfortable – The both of you!
When collaborating with an animal, I feel that it is important to “get comfortable” with your collaborator. This is important for the animal too. If you show up once every week, or interact with it once in a blue moon, it is less likely to participate and work with you.

3. Work as a Team, not “I own you so do this!”
We have to remember that when we collaborate, it is a team work interactive.
1. Collaboration is defined as: To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.
2. To cooperate treasonably, as with an enemy occupation force in one's country.
With this definition in mind, I would advise you not to treat the animal as if it were a pet… it is your partner! And if you want your pet to respect you, then show it some love and respect too!

4. Patience is a virtue
It is vitally important to be patient with animals because we lack the ability to directly communicate with them, so it makes it that much more difficult to collaborate. Aside from that, we don’t know when the animal actually is in the mood to be nice and cooperate, so be patient if your dog or cat is PMSing and ignoring you on certain days. It’s natural, humans have that tendency too. Also, there might be sensitive and personal issues brewing within the pet’s family (such as its owner getting very sick, or death of family member) which may affect the pet’s mood- so be understanding, reasonable, and most importantly: be patient.

5. Record your interaction and activities
It is good to keep records of progress or regression of collaboration efforts, so you can always look back and study or make reasonable conclusions instead of faulty or misleading assumptions.

So with these steps in mind, I hope it can contribute to progression in your collaboration with animals! Good luck!

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How To: Interspecies Communication
Dolphin Trip!!!
By Tanasa Slovin (06/08/10 20:02:39)
Related animal: Dolphin

Here are some photos from the dolphin trip!

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How To: Art Made Together with Non-Human Animals
How to Collaborate with a Non-human Animals
By Cara Moore (05/17/06 13:15:16)
Related animal: Human

Define your goals-
The first step to collaborating with another species is to decide what it is you would liek to accomplish. Decide what species you would like to work with and decide how you would like to collaborate with this species. Researching the species is an important step to be able to better understand your collaborator. Learn about your collaborators likes and dislikes, sensory abilities, natural habitat, and behavior patterns for starters, but don't limit yourself to only these categories. You could also search for previous art projects done with your species. Research can help you decide the best way to collaborate with your species.

Be patient-
Non-human animals may not be eager to work with humans. Most animals in the wild have a natural instinct to fear humans. It may take a lot of time before the animal feels comfortable collaborating with you. If you choose to work with a wild animal, be prepared to spend a lot of time before you see any results. For this reason it may be easier to work with domesticated animals. Yet even domesticated animals might not be eager to work with you. All of these animals will probably be confused, and probably don't know what you want from them. Just be patient, results will not come overnight.

Be flexible-
Although a lot of time should be committed to attempting to collaborate with your species, you should also keep in mind that your intended goal may not succeed. You should examine your efforts and evaluate whether or not your goals are possible. It is important to be flexible in your desired results, your species may not be capable or willing to fulfill your goals. If this is the case, revise your goals; instead of thinking of what you want to do, take into consideration what your collaborator would enjoy doing. Don't get too stuck on one idea, if you are flexible and patient enough, you will find an artistic form that will work well for the both of you.

[Write Comment]
how to collaborate with animals
By Tauny Palm (05/23/06 11:08:40)
In order to collaborate with animals one must have the following:

1. access to an animal; That is my main issue right snails have disappeared. When it rained all i found were dead snails :(

2. an animal that is willing to collaborate; like humans, some animals are camera shy! some animals just aren't excited about being a part of anything that doesnt involve food, sleep, rubbing their backs...

3. time; animals have not grasped the fact that you can only collaborate between the hours of 5-6pm on tuesday and order to collaborate with them you need to be available when they are ready.

4. trust; the animal might be more willing to collaborate with you if it feels like it can trust you and you can trust it. Dog's for instance, can tell whether a person is afraid or tense around them and wont make it any easier on you.

5. patience; patience and time go together....don't give up!

6. understanding; you need to first set out a basic definition of what exactly you consider "collaboration." If you set your goal at hoping your cat will paint DaVinci's Last Supper then you will get pretty discouraged when you find nothing more than a paw print on your carpet! be realistic...

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How To: Art Made Together with Non-Human Animals
How to Collaborate with Birds
By Britt Kilpatrick Brandi Rose (05/09/06 14:14:50)
Related animals: Bird, Human


As an artist, it is important to understand that your piece is about the creative process. You have to allow for the work to change from your original intention to its final outcome. When collaborating with another party, this is an especially important concept to keep in mind. Through your observation and interaction with the birds, you will discover which medium they want to use in collaboration with you, as well as their material(s) of choice. It is very likely that your original idea will immensely change with the evolution of the artwork. Embrace this as an opportunity to learn and be inspired through your collaborative partner!

How to Collaborate with Birds

1.Make a list of possible birds and/or environments with which you want to collaborate.
2.Research and refine list.
3.Through research, identify communication techniques, interactive behaviors within the species as well as feeding and migrating habits of each bird.
4.Investigate prior interspecies collaborative projects with bird of choice. Use the information as initial research to help develop your project ideas into a deeper understanding of the types of mediums you can use in your collaboration.
5.Observe your birds in its natural habitat.
6.Establish contact with your birds.
7.Experiment with different mediums and/or materials with the birds.
8.If birds respond to experimental materials, continue to step 9. If birds do not respond, rework your project ideas and repeat step 7.
9.Decide on materials.
10.Prepare medium for collaboration. If working in performance piece, extra research will be required to ensure your birds will be available to collaborate. If working in digital video, make sure you have the correct equipment to capture the birds animation and vocalization. If working in sculpture, use materials that are not hazardous to the health of the birds. Construct the piece to be placed in birds’ environment. If working in a 2D medium, make sure any materials the birds come in contact with are non-toxic for animals and humans.
11.Collaborate with the birds!
12.After collaboration, decide which part(s) of your art process will be most conducive to the gallery space in which you intend to exhibit.
13.Exhibit your work!

Quoted from Australian Government Marine Park Authority:

• Wherever possible keep well away from colonies of roosting or nesting seabirds.
• If you cannot avoid going near a colony, always keep a low profile. This will minimize the risk of disturbing birds. Stressed birds may move from their nests or chicks, or take flight, leaving their nest unprotected.
• When approaching birds, be quiet, avoid rapid or sudden movements, crouch low and use existing cover where possible.
• Keep noise to a minimum. Do not sound horns, sirens or loudspeakers.
• If seabirds exhibit stressful behaviour overhead, such as raucous calling or swooping, leave the area immediately.
• Be careful not to crush eggs and chicks — some are well camouflaged.
• Never attempt to touch birds, chicks or eggs.
• Avoid using lights near or in bird colonies.
• Take particular care on seabird islands at the following sensitive times:
o late afternoon and early evening
o during the hottest part of the day
o wet and/or cold weather
o moonlit nights
o when eggs, naked or downy
o chicks are in their nests.
• Learn about the habits and needs of seabirds to increase your appreciation of them.

Related Website: Australian Government Marine Park Authority
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How to Collaborate with other Species: A Beginners Compendium
By Michael Godwin Sam McKye (05/09/06 14:38:05)
Definitions: You are the instigator, your target species the collaborator.

First, assess you and your collaborators assets.
Visual – if both parties can see
Auditory – if everyone can hear
Tactile – if nerve ending > 2
Conceptual – if abstract thought is sufficiently developed

A closer inspection of assets reveals many steps to consider for collaboratory possibilities or pitfalls.

* Can both parties perceive colors, if so which ones?
* How about brightness?
* Consider infra and ultravision.

* Physical constraints of amplitude and wavelength?
* Are you hearing all the sounds you are producing, is your collaborator responding to the sounds you think they are responding to.
* Consider patterns and rhythm, silence as well as sound. Can you add to or complement your collaborator's contribution?
* Does each party have a language? Is it possible to discover / formulate a common language?

* Touch, and all its permutations.
* Be sensitive to interspecies thresholds and tolerances – loud can be painful.

* While humans have a tendency to conceptualize their artistic collaborations, it should be known that other species have progressed beyond such plebeian pursuits.

Once the potential sensory zones have been determined, how to produce a unique collaboration?

* Consider an intermediary if there is little or no overlap in your shared sensory zones. This could be another organism or perhaps some sort of tool – analog or digital.

* Consider that communication from one party may be interpreted by the other party in a completely different “sensory sphere.” For example, ultrasound may “feel” (tactile) to a recipient, while the instigator is utilizing auditory communication.

* Be particularly aware that interpretation of one species signal may be different than the intended meaning.

* Be aware of preferred spheres of communication. Some like tactile, some like auditory – research into intraspecies dynamics can be helpful for further understanding.

Next step is to go wild. Attempt interaction between collaborator and instigator. Play it safe – while fangs, claws, spines, tentacles, neuro-toxins, bad breath, lawyers, razor-sharp talons, beaks, severe constriction, plagues, and venoms don't kill, upset organisms may.

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How to find the inner artist in your very own pet
By laura hyatt (05/10/06 18:56:54)
Related animals: Dog, Human

The concept of interspecies collaboration may at first seem quite daunting. The most succesful collaborations always occur between artists who share a connection or bond. This can most obviously hence be found in your pet, whatever the species. Beleive it or not, every animal, in the domesticated sense, has the ability to connect with humans on some level, this is why they have been chosen to be domesticated. One of the best breeds I have found in my experience is dogs. They are agile, alert and interested in stimulation. If you do not have a pet, there are other ways of forming a similar bond with a new animal cohort. These include the following:

1. Begin a process of close and frequent contact.
2. The deepest types of bond are those founded on a relationship of affection and respect. By showing affection and love and not treating the dog as an inferior being, the animal will become more trusting of you.
3. A very good time to begin a collaboration is during a dog's "sensitive period" which occurs between the age of 3 and 8 weeks.
4.A recognition of uniqueness in the animal through increased familiarity will forge an even deeper bond.
5. Most importantly positive reinforcement is a very good way of working with dogs as opposed to punishment.

Dogs are extremely willing participants and collaborators. It is first very important to find out what the individual dog's interests might be. This is soumething that can really only be gained after spending a large amount of time with the animal.

Implications of Human-Animal Interactions and Bonds (Article) [Write Comment]
How to Philosophically Deconstruct the Issues Surrounding Collaboration in Order
By Mark Batongmalaque Nichole van Beek (05/09/06 14:34:32)
Related animals: Bird, Deer, Whale

How to Philosophically Deconstruct the Issues Surrounding Collaboration in Order to Begin Inter-Species Collaboration as an Art Making Endeavor

Do animals make art? If so, is it similar to human art? For example, are the whales that respond to Jim Nollman's guitar playing singing along or are they complaining about the noise? Since there is no absolute common language between humans and non-humans, the answers to this line of questioning will remain purely speculative. Even so, the question of whether animals make art is of ultimate importance in order to foster consideration of non-human thought.

Must the human artist and the alternate species collaborator have analogous motives for participation in the project? Is the installation space created by Boursier-Mougenot titled From Here to Ear a collaboration considering we can imagine that the finches are not making art, but instead are engaging in daily activity such as eating and flying? Thinking about any collaboration in general, it is to be expected that individual parties involved have their own motives. With non-human species it is a given that motives will be different from those of humans.

Is there a moral question in collaborating with non-human species? Is it necessary for the non-human species to ‘enjoy’ their part in the collaboration? Can the simple act of responding to a human action, whether benign or malicious, be considered collaboration? For example, is chasing a deer through the woods any less of a collaboration than playing an electric guitar to whales or giving a paintbrush to elephants? In the case of chasing a deer, we can imagine that the deer feels threatened and generally ‘negative’, while we imagine that the whales enjoy the sounds of the guitar because they respond through their vocalizations. Unfortunately we cannot be absolutely certain that the whales are having a ‘positive’ experience.

What about the hierarchy of humans over other species? Is the human collaborator always dominant or is it possible to create a situation of equality? In 'I Like America and America Likes Me', do Joseph Beuys and the wolf have equal power? Both are in a situation of danger because the wolf may attack Beuys at any minute while the wolf has lost its ability to escape. In the end though, in this project Beuys has ultimate control because he has designed the situation and has the ability to communicate with the structures that enforce the situation. The wolf has no agency beyond that which Beuys has allowed it.

How do the issues of domesticity, tameness, and wildness affect the collaborative endeavor? In the instance of elephants painting, it is obvious that they engage in art making simply because they are tame. Would this project function with wild animals? Is it possible to consider a tame or domestic animal as having independent action since it is ultimately controlled by its dependence on humans for necessities?

The attempt to answer these questions as the initial step in collaborating with non-human species brings up many issues that may not have a resolution. This should not be an ultimate discouragement in collaborating with non-human species. Forge ahead. And remember, just collaborating with animals does not make art or interesting art.

[Write Comment]
By Natasha Lloyd Tyler Beckert (05/09/06 13:33:27)
In order to attempt a collaboration with a member of another species, there are several questions which must first be answered:

- What species do you plan on collaborating with?

Chosing an appropriate species is essential to conducting your collaboration. What resources you have available, as well as your own capabilities, must be taken into account.

- What form of art (if any) will you be attempting to create?

Decide what medium you plan to use (paint, music, digital, etc.) during your collaboration.

- Why are you attempting to communicate with this particular species?

Does this species possess any capabilities that would lend themselves to a particular method of collaboration? Any prior knowledge or experience with this species could be helpful.

- What method of communication will you be using to collaborate with this animal?

Different species interact and communicate in a variety of ways. Have you selected a method of collaboration this is realistically feasible?

- What supplies/permissions/etc. will you need to begin?

Determine if you will require any specialized equipment or permits prior to collaborating with another species. Access to exotic or endangered animals is often restricted.

Once you have these primary questions answered, you are ready to begin your collaboration. When starting work with another species, keep these 5 principles in mind:

- Patience is essential.
The obvious communication barrier between yourself and another species will require time and effort to overcome.

- Respect for the animal
and its habitat are of primary importance. In order to conduct an ethical collaboration, nature and the animal itself must not be harmed or disturbed in any way.

- Organized methods
of collaboration and data collection will be crucial to a successful project. Since you are exploring a new and unpredictable field, any records you retain during collaboration could prove useful.

- Research your subject
prior to collaboration. Past observations or scientific studies may yield new possibilities for your collaboration. If others have collaborated with this animal in the past, what methods have proved successful?

- Equal contribution
between yourself and the other species will provide for the most interesting collaboration. Third party observation of another species could hardly be considered a collaboration, whereas a conscious interaction will open a whole new range of possibilities.

During our own collaborative efforts, we have encountered many difficulties and obstacles. Based on our experience, here are some helpful hints to remember during the collaboration process. Included are real-life accounts of problems that were encountered during an interspecies collaboration.

- Flexibility
of your ideas, process, and timeframe are important when collaborating with others. Be prepared for cancellations, compromises, possible disagreements, etc..
o “When attempting to collaborate on a photography project with a chimpanzee, I soon learned that flexibility would be the most important virtue. The owner has given me three dates to arrive at the training facility and all three have been cancelled 1 day prior to the event. Keeping an open schedule and allowing for these set backs has prevented me from having to cancel the collaboration.”

- Communicating with others
, even those who are not involved in a similar project, can yield new and interesting ideas. Talking to friends and family about what you are working on can provide new insight.
o “Before I opened my project up for conversation I only had a basic outline of what I wished to accomplish with the chimps. After hearing several ideas and interpretations of my collaboration, I arrived at new and improved ideas and possible means of communication with the chimps.”

- Have a backup plan
in case something goes wrong. Interspecies collaboration is often unpredictable, and situations may arise where a planned course of action may prove impossible or insufficient. A new location, method of interaction, or even a new species may be necessary in order to successfully collaborate.
o “As previously mentioned, the dates for the chimpanzee collaboration have been a problem, so I developed a backup plan. I am now working on a different project using dogs which I have ready access to. The chimp project is “on hold” while I work on a separate collaboration. This backup plan is key in allowing me to continue in collaboration while waiting for my original project to actually occur.”

[Write Comment]
How To: Interspecies Relationships
Old encounters from the beginning
By Mark Linggi (06/01/10 23:41:03)
Related animal: Mallard Duck

Although I have not been regular with my updates, I have been making written records with my encounters with animals (mostly the ducks).

April 27, 2010

With a couple of weeks not encounter any signs of the ducks, I have finally found one. Although my intentions are to observe the duck couple, I have only found one. After going to Jamba Juice, getting a free brownie in the process ($1 off baked goods and brownies only cost $1), I went to the pound near Storke Tower to see if any of the ducks would be there. I know from previous encounters that that specific pond is one of the couple's favorite spots. Unfortunately (or fortunately for my lack of seeing the ducks) I saw the male duck. I decided to sit a bit closer to my friend, but not too close so that I would disturb him. I reached in the bag, making some noise with the bag, and the duck came closer to me. I believe that he thought that I was reaching into the bag to give him some food. He soon realized that I was not going to give him anything so he sat down. I felt bad that he was without his other half (the female duck) so I started to talk to him for a little while just so I could keep him company. However, within 5 minutes, another male duck flew from the sky and sat down next to the other male duck. With this sight, I became happier knowing that these two bachelors at least were keeping each other company. I began to wonder if the females had just left the two, or because of the season, if the females were taking care of a nest while the males just left. Hopefully I will be able to see the duck couple again rather than two male bachelors (although this was a step in the right direction).

[Write Comment]

Comment by mlinggi (06/07/10 13:12:13):
I meant to put this under projects. Sorry this is not a how to, more of an observation.
Reflecting on Timothy Treadwell
By Martin C. Shaver (06/13/10 16:23:01)
I found the story of Timothy Treadwell to be particularly interesting in the sense that this man gave up everything he had, including his life, for the betterment of bears. although Timothy is constantly criticized for doing what he did, walking with enormous creatures that are thought to be one of the most dangerous species on earth, i feel that more good has come out of his story than not. being able to put himself out there for the love of the creatures is amazing; and 13 years to survive it all with only one but final incident is even more so. Timothy preached to children, and young generations that these animals are more than just a big beast but a creature with a heart and sole as well. he taught them that yes, they are dangerous, but they are more than that.

i honestly do believe that Timothy was able to make a lot of progress in the field of inter species relationships. even if his work while he was alive went unappreciated and almost unrecognized, i feel that in his death, being able to give up himself for these animals, that he is able to send that message, and drive it deeper into people that anyone else possibly could have. although i may not have done the same as he had, i respect him for his courage, dedication, and pure love for another species.

[Write Comment]
By Chelsea Hunter (05/31/09 11:16:31)
Related animal: Snake

Pandora’s Box is a scent based interior design project performed with Pandora, a 1 year old ball python. Four people living a home with Pandora but all having different amounts of interaction with her applied their own scent to a specific color of small fuzzy balls. The balls were then placed in four corners of a cardboard box and Pandora was allowed to smell each one and move them as she pleased. The color yellow which was the color that had the scent of Pandora’s owner was moved around the most, and Pandora kept going back to that color after smelling out the others. The pink color which had the scent of someone who had never touched her was moved about the same amount as the green that had the scent of someone who has had little contact with her. The blue was touched the least and carried the scent of someone who was the last person to handle her before the project.

The same scent based interior design project was performed again but this time using the scents of humans as well as other mammals. The colored balls that had the human scent were used again but this time a group of small black balls that carried the scent of a dog, and a group of small dark green balls that carried the scent of a mouse were also placed in a larger box. Besides spending slightly longer on the mouse scented green balls Pandora mostly moved around the different pieces equally moving everything around with her body and gathering most of it into the center.

[Write Comment]
How To: Animal Communication
response to barbara janelle
By Jenna Ferri (06/05/10 17:15:20)
Barbara Janelle was not what I had expected. She was very calm and collected and didn't seem as "crazy" as an animal communicator would seem. She had some extremely interesting points that I thought were insightful. The exercises we did with the tree massage and the approaching a person from the side made me reconsider how I view nature and how my persona comes off to others.
This interactive experience got me thinking about doing a project with trees because they are so often forgotten when collaborating. I only got to the brainstorming process but I was trying to think of a way that human would be encouraged to interact with the tree and feel a need to reciprocate. I was thinking of hanging pieces of paper from the branches that give facts about how trees are used in medical uses and in collaboration with human all the time and juxtaposing them with facts on how many trees we cut down daily. While I think this would be an eye opening piece, it didn't quite lure people into experiencing the magic the tree has to offer so I aborted it.
Barbara Janelle though was very interesting in the way she could learn from the small signs of animals and she definitely got me thinking about alternative and less obvious ways of collaborating!

[Write Comment]
How To: Art Made Together with Non-Human Animals
Step by Step Guide to Collaborating with Animals
By Kathryn J. Andrews wylie beckert (05/09/06 13:19:04)
How to artistically collaborate with animals

Step 1: Choosing a collaborator-
Think about which animal you feel closest to. An affinity towards an animal is an essential part of the collaboration. Some people are more connected spiritually to dogs or cats, while others prefer venturing into the wild to seek out potential collaborators. What kind of collaboration do you want to be involved in? More importantly, what kind of collaboration will your animal be interested in participating in? Perhaps your “domestic” animal partner wishes to create a collaboration in which he may express his “wild” side and natural, animalistic leanings. Remember that art is for animals, as it is for humans, a venue for self-expression and exploration of the inner being.

Step 2: Choose a goal-
You must have a goal in order to accomplish your collaboration. This goal may change during the course of the experimentation but it is always important to have one in sight as a foundation for the developing collaboration. What is your desired outcome? What do you think your animal collaborator hopes to get out of the experience? Be realistic. You cannot be disappointed with your animal if it proves resistant to human interference. If this turns out to be the case, reevaluate your goal to reflect your animal’s interests as well as your own. Be willing to compromise your own vision and put yourself in an uncomfortable position to accommodate your animal counterpart.

Step 3: Initiate your collaboration-
Put yourself in your animal’s position. If the animal is “domestic” then it will be more used to human interaction. Try initiating the collaboration through play or through variations on your usual interaction with the animal. The ways of doing this are infinite and vary greatly depending on the nature of your intended collaboration. If your animal is “wild” you should be willing to find a non-invasive way to express your interest in collaboration. This could involve many hours spent sitting quietly in or near the animal’s natural environment to show it your good intentions and non-threatening nature. Do not be discouraged if your collaborator does not make their presence known during this time; no doubt he is observing you from a distance, and is himself contemplating the potential of your collaborative energy. While you are being thus observed, take the time to experience the world from the animal’s perspective; this will put you in an ideal mindset for a successful collaboration, and may lead to the alteration of your goals early on in the project. If your desired collaborator is a vole, hunker down in the grass, watching fearfully for the shadows of hawks. If you wish to work with a mountain lion, keep watch for small prey from a high tree branch. Only by integrating yourself into the animal’s world can you begin to understand its outlooks, hopes, and interests. Note that it is against the nature of collaboration to harm your animal counterpart, or to collaborate with them against their will. If your ideal partner is unwilling to collaborate, he will make it known. Small animals may subtly express their disinterest, while the signs from larger or carnivorous animals will be unmistakable. Heed their warnings.

Step 4: Contact!
You will know if the animal decides to accept your invitation to collaborate. Domestic animals will express their interest in your unusual behavior. They will show their usual signs of interest or excitement, and may begin to seek you out actively to begin your collaboration. Your dog may begin to bark excitedly at the prospect of a new experience. A cow might produce more milk than usual as a sign of anticipation of the intended collaboration. A wild animal may begin to approach you more closely, or accept you into its environment and go about its business around you. This is the time to announce yourself. As you go about preparing for the collaboration, talk so the animal gets used to your voice. Experiment with producing noises similar to those of your collaborator. If you are collaborating with a squirrel, try making chattering noises, and rustle the leaves around you in a non-threatening manner. Once the animal realizes that you are a non-threatening, independent life form, rather than just a passive element of the environment, collaboration can begin.

Step 5: Working together towards a common goal-
What do you think your collaborator wishes to get out of this interaction? How can you help your animal counterpart achieve his/her goals? These are some of the most important things to consider as you begin to collaborate. An exact set of instructions is difficult to provide at this point, as the course you take will depend on the nature of your collaboration, from a complex piece of interspecies art to the simple act of mutual play. The main thing to keep in mind is that your collaboration is a living, changing process. Be always open to new directions, and take cues from your animal collaborator—this is their experiment too, and they are trying to streamline your collaboration and offer new and exciting ideas. Always remember to be safe, and take cues as to your own behavior based on the actions of your collaborator. Only in this way can a true collaboration be performed, and a rich experience be had by all parties involved.

Now get out there and collaborate animalistically!

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Working with Len
By Norah Eldredge Martin C. Shaver (05/18/10 09:40:01)
Related animal: Cat

Lenn is getting much more interested in the art project. He seems to know that this is something I enjoy to do with him and he never misses the chance to come over and help me out.

I am also in a drawing class and have been working on the floor a lot lately. It was never uncommon for him to join me on the floor and try to get on the paper, but now he is unstoppable! He practically ran upstairs and lept on the paper with hunter-like qualities. Needless to say, that left the paper slightly rumpled, so I may not use it in the drawings' final collective. Perhaps I will try a new group of pieces made up of paper Lenn has attacked and crumpled!

Overall, I feel like our progress is very good and we will finish the quarter with a great variety of Lenn/Norah pieces.

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