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Its officially HOT. Between 90 degrees full humidity in NYC and 106 degrees but dry in the Mojave there's not much escape despite needing some serious outdoor time. Keep an eye on your critters and make sure they're getting enough water and can be in air conditioning when necessary. Somehow the doves seem impervious to all conditions except new heads to poop on ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

June 30th
Last month I had the great pleasure of hosting the first IFIAAR field drawing workshop. Thank you so much to the 22 attendees! It was a really fun time, and a great model for future outings. We started out with some observational drawing using line contour and gesture drawing, worked together on landscape scrolls of the marshlands, then went off into the field with Lala Albert and Suki Sekula to look a little closer at the bird and insect life there. 

July 28th Why Look at Animals will be screening today at the Cactus Store on Essex st in the garden. This will include the first two episodes of the series. Why Look at Animals is a contributor based compilation of people's cell phone videos of animals. There will be tee shirts, books, cassettes, bird seed, and posters availalbe as well as a special mix drink to enjoy ^_^

August 24th Why Look at Animals will be having a special screening at Various Small Fires in Los Angeles, CA. This will be part of a special ecology based event series taking place throughout the month. They'll be announcing more soon!

October Deadline! The Non-human Observer will be back with a new issue! The model will be condensing content into a dual season issue- Summer/Fall and Winter/Spring. So take your time and think about something you'd like to share. And if you haven't checked out the first issue- please do! You can also purchase it online or at McNally Jackson in NYC.
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"Animals are always the observed. The fact they can observe us has lost all significance. They are the objects of our ever-extending knowledge. What we know about them is an index of our power, and thus an index of what separates us from them. The more we know, the further away they are." - John Berger, Why Look at Animals?

Bergers Essay 'Why Look at Animals?' focuses on the transformation of human-non-human animal relationships from complex, dualistic, co-existence to symbolic characters and marginalized lives in zoos. Though still holding relevance historically and as symbols, a lot of what we hear and discuss now is about the abstract death of species or villainized invasives. We're always present with 'others' though, and they us. Our lives are inherently intertwined and dependent, but our relations are often fraught with a sense of 'subject-hood' or extreme distance and removal. 

<Gilles Aillaud at Ortuzar Projects, NYC>
Re-reading this essay and considering Berger as an Art 101 guide to understanding 'image' and ‘looking’ I realized between the drawing workshop and this video idea, I'm really interested in encouraging people to 'see'. I'm sure I'm assuming a lot in thinking asking people to really see what's around them is a step towards building better relations, and that better relations equal better decisions, and better decisions can lead to better lives for animals, but maybe lol.

Animals have been unwitting participants in social media starting as far back as Keyboard Cat. They’ve been indoctrinated into our feeds and entertainment tools. Despite the possibilities of exploitation, some of this, including the higher rates of adoption for disabled animals, could actually be good. It’s encouraging a new value system in sharing the lives of ‘others’ and noticing the way they’re enveloped into our own. Hopefully this continues for people whether or not they can ‘share’ it but it’s a way to learn how to be amused and appreciate a world we’re so used to talking about in simply critical or biologic terms. It’s a way to begin deconstructing the Cartesian divide that still has presence today.

Getting to know your neighbors better is a good idea. This starts with looking around and seeing who they are! Perhaps an infestation of mites on a house plant? some Mourning Doves on your window sill with a wobbly nest? a small spider in your studio that has the gall to catch cockroaches and suck their blood??
Say hello!



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Institute for Interspecies Art and Relations · 751 Bushwick Ave · Brooklyn, Ny 11221 · USA

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