Essay: Interspecies Relationships
Hermes the PostConsumer Island-Dweller
By Matthew Roy Reeves (05/24/10 00:51:31)
Related animal: Hermit Crab

I explored Santa Cruz Island from Saturday, 17 May until Monday, 19 May, and realized how such a confined space can indeed contain far more room than perceived. It has prompted me to acquire a larger space for Hermes, as his Destijl Mobile enlargens, and enlivens.
After a tight-squeeze tango with death, Hermes is now awarded a larger environment for his courageousness. He now engages in a molting phase, but refuses to leave his shell. He needs room to dance! The life of Hermes depends on it. The Destijl Mobile now exists as a 2.5 gallon Rubbermaid® EasyFind Lids™ plastic container: the most advanced in sustainable PostConsumer space design. Where leftovers may typically reside, a dance party will occur. The art of PP 5 plastics material will supersede science in the heat of a sultry salsa number.
Hermes is a revolutionary PostConsumer Island dweller, free from the bonds of survival, and with plenty of wiggle room. Though Santa Cruz Island was not made of plastic, I did paint its countryside in acrylic. I was therefore inspired by the controlled freedom of the island; the state can fully regulate the occupancy, and put the kibosh on visitors concealing wildlife souvenirs. An island is the ideal environment for creating or maintaining a space. The renowned Island Fox, for example, will never face a predator, for they do not exist on the island. Likewise, the lifestyle of Hermes is easily permitted by the granted source of food and water, new shells and burrow habitats.
Hermes, like the Santa Cruz Island Fox, lives in confined, controlled freedom. It is oddly like my freedom while living in Isla Vista. I go to college and explore my passions without the obligations of “real life,” looming just beyond Storke and Hollister, the U.S. 101 Highway. Isla Vista is a PostConsumer plastic container of freedom! The freedom exists, because it is given a confined space. The room inside permits a lifestyle, and thus becomes bigger than actuality. Isla Vista is about 2.16 square miles, and somehow supports 18,000 college students, and 72,000 annual Halloween partygoers. Hermes leads by example: freedom on the inside. But what does Postmodernism have to say about controlled space? I fear it is controlled freedom that transforms an animal into a “pet,” the most abhorred creature of contemporary ideas and art.
Are college students domesticated wildlife? Pets inside 2.5 gallon Rubbermaid® EasyFind Lids™ plastic containers, with plenty of liquor room? Again, Hermes in the Destijl Mobile will lead by example, and by dancing, to the beat of the best music around.

Pouring old world into new terrarium.
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Essay: Art Made Together with Non-Human Animals
Leonard Proposal
By Norah Eldredge (04/14/10 16:52:27)
Related animal: Cat

For my project, I am proposing collaboration with my house cat, Leonard. He is a two year old black Bengal and very curious whenever I draw or work on the floor of my room. Usually, I place a piece of paper on the ground and instantly he comes over, purrs, inspects my movements and then curls up on top of the paper.

Every time he does this, it is in a different position, a different part of the paper. To document this, I will trace around his body every time and on a different sheet of paper each time. I hope to end up with a collection of "drawings" inspired by and using his movements.

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Nollman Ch.1
By Michael Martinez (04/27/10 00:24:21)
1. When Nollman says he would like to learn from animals as opposed to about them he means he wants to have an active part in their collaboration. What Nollman does, and what we can learn from him is that we should not have preconceived notions about animals. We should be open minded and allow animals to participate.

2. When Nollman started experimenting with the turkey it was more about doing something without regard for the turkey. Nollman would play his instruments to see how the turkey would react. When he played with the turkey he fostered a positive environment for the turkey to be active and participate equally in.

3. The problem with humans communicating with non-humans is that it is assumed more often than not that animals think like use, or communicate in a similar matter. I think this is very true, we know what we know and if we are not used to thinking in ways other than how we normally do, we will automatically assume they are like us. We should have a more open ended style communication in which we discuss with animals the way they want to, or reveal to us.

4. Nollman felt like a shaman because he was no longer observing but participating with the turkey. This participation exceeded beyond the musical performances. When Nollman participated with the turkey he started to think like and understand a turkey that seemed to surpass normal communications.

5. While he is an animal lover he feels like zoology is not done out of love for animals. He feels there is a disconnect between the scientist and their work and the respect they should have for the animal. He also feels that the work done with animals, when harmful, serves no purpose no matter the gains. While I do agree that humans often fail to understand animals as intelligent beings, I feel the view on animal testing is a bit harsh. I feel that testing animals for medical research is great, not on-board for cosmetic purposes. I feel it is a bit selfish to let others die when a cure could be close by, but would requite testing on animals. While I don't know with any certainty what animal research facilities are like, but i feel that there could always be improved and the process made more open and copacetic.

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Nollman Ch.4
By Michael Martinez (04/27/10 01:26:55)
1. I am not sure what Nollman means when he says, "we need new ecological metaphors." From what I gleaned from the chapter is that ecological metaphors are ways we understand how we collaborate animals. Like in his example of the bushmen and the lions. The ecological metaphor was that when lions are at water holes, the bushmen are not, and when bushmen are trying to sleep, the lions are "asked" not to roar.

2. Interspecies Protocol, is, I only guessing, what Nollman suggests should be our new ecological metaphor. In Interspecies Protocol we are to treat animals as equals or peers. In this mentality we treat animals like we do other people. We do not force anything on them but find ways in which we communicate and cohabitate.

3. Symbiosis is a physical co-dependency between to individuals, while interspecies protocol is a behavior based relationship, in which individuals treat each other as equals.

4. Interspecies Protocol might be seen as anthropomorphic because it focuses on recognizing actions of animals and associating them with behavioral messages or demeanor.

5. A Canadian Grizzly Bear might be fearful of humans, because it is normal for bears to be shot on sight if they get too close to humans. So all curious and social bears are eliminated leaving only the fearful and stealthy bears left.

6. When we view animals as individuals we see them in a more harmonious and cooperative light. When we view animals as representatives we neglect behavior, or character of the animal, and we are forced to observed and not interact.

7. Language plays a huge roll in Interspecies Protocol. Nollman talks about how we are trained very young to observe animals and what words not to use to describe them. This subtle training ends up creating a natural instinct to observe as oppose to participate or communicate.

8. Speciesism is the discrimination of other species. The discrimination is often about assigning certain characteristics to species.

9. I don't think there was ever a time where we lived harmoniously with other species. Because we are animals we are both prey and predator. At some point in our existence we have to hunt down other creatures to survive and at another we must run from other animals to survive. So while we may have lived more closely to other animals we did not do so entirely harmoniously.

10. We can incorporate "the other people" into "the councils of government" by thinking differently about animals and doing things to preserve them and their habitats.

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Essay: Other Related Research
Nollman's Book
By Avid Mozaffarian (04/23/10 00:51:55)
Nollman's Book, ?the Man Who Talks to Whales? opened a new window of thinking for me. Jim?s musical encounter with the neighbors turkey was fascinating and interesting to see how the turkey willingly was tempted to continue the collaboration with him by keeping the animal intrigued. Nollman's description of the relationship between the bushman?s and the lions shows the level of respect an animal as ?wild? as a lion has for humans since neither party passes the line of the other. Lions and bushman are a great example of mutual respect and trust between both sides.

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Steve Baker?s
By Avid Mozaffarian (04/23/10 00:53:12)

Steve Baker?s ?The Postmodern Animal? was a much more in-depth and rather confusing reading in comparison to Mollman's book. I don?t know if it was because of the style of the writing, the material, or just me, but I did not find this reading that interesting. I do believe wild animals and artist definitely have much more in common because of their uniqueness and different perspective on the world than others. Postmodernist might find these animals threatening to them because of their own weakness, not because of the definitions do not fit one another.

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Essay: Non-Human Animal Perception and Cognition
Unlocking the Secrets of Communication-Dolphin Mysteries
By Andrea Chase (05/12/10 17:49:30)
Related animal: Dolphin

The interaction of dolphins with other dolphins is a complex process that many humans, including myself, can not fully understand. Upon reflecting on the myriad of social stigmas, taboos, rules, regulations, interpretations and actions humans engage in during human-human interactions, I am at a loss to even imagine the social system of another highly intelligent and social creature such as a dolphin. With each interaction a human has there is undoubtedly an immense stream of thoughts and impressions that form due to certain environmental shapings. Whether prejudice and discrimination, or love and generosity humans form extremely strong mental impressions that often are carried throughout life. I wonder what kind of impressions dolphins form. Are they as cynical? Or are they more open? Does it vary tremendously in individual dolphins as it does in humans? Obviously the environment and past must play a part in the impressions formed as well. It would be extremely interesting to divulge into the social system of dolphins, especially dolphins of differing types and species. Do they discriminate against eachother through a lack of interacting with any other than their own? The reading briefly discusses the interaction of dolphins and manatees together. Is this a regular find? or irregular and only due to certain environmental pressures? I guess my dream of an extensive networking of dolphins is even farther from possible than a human networking of reactions and emotions from intercultural and interhuman interactions.

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