Ongoing WEekly Assignment 5/19
By Brianna Acuesta (05/18/14 15:36:49)
Related animals: Dog, Goat

This past week my husband and I decided to start gardening with what limited space we have in our "backyard" in family housing. We went to Home Depot to buy plants, seeds, soil, and, most importantly, pots to paint on. Whenever an artistic opportunity like this has come up during this quarter I've immediately considered a way to make it an interspecies collaboration since I've been having so much trouble finding an idea that I'm passionate about. Inspired by the pots and the subsistence gardening we are going to be doing (we are growing various vegetables and some fruits), which is better for the environment and ultimately animals as well, I've finally come up with a solid idea on what I'm doing for my final project. I'm going to make two, possibly three if I have time to see the goats, painted pots whose images and colors will be picked out by my dog Mango for one pot and the octopus from the REEF for the other pot.

Since Mango and the octopus have obvious differences in their ability to interact with me, I've designed different interaction methods for each animal. We take Mango to the same park a few times a week and we typically take him to three different spots: two are guaranteed places where he sniffs around and goes to the bathroom, and the other is this fenced off area that is a sort of no-leash dog area. I'm going to set up each area with a different part of the pot painting that needs to be determined. The three parts are what the image is, what color it's going to be, and where on the point it will be located. For the location, I will label each part of the pot and then take those labels and put them in different spots in the dog park area. I will do the same with the colors and the images in the different areas of the park, and whichever he sniffs at will be the one he picks. The order in which he picks them will each coincide with each other. For example, if he goes to first area and sniffs at the sun, then in the second area chooses the color blue first, and in the third area sniffs the upper left lip of the pot label, then the result will be a painted blue sun on the upper left lip of the pot. The octopus clearly will be presented with a different method, since he can't sniff nor run around the park. I'm going to create three sheets, one with the color, one with images, and one with location. I'll present him with one sheet at a time and see which of his tentacles lands on a choice first and record maybe the first five options for each sheet. I'll paint the pots just as my dog and the octopus have picked them to be painted.

Also, since this was inspired by the gardening which positively (even if minimally) affects the earth and its animals, my exhibition will feature the pots with something that I feel represents the personalities of each animal planted inside of it. I feel really good about this idea and have plans to get the input from both Mango and the octopus this week and paint the pots next week.

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