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Thank you again to everyone who was there for Classroom, The Utopian Vision Art Fair, and the NYABF. IFIAAR is officially in the world! Photos soon.
For those patiently waiting on me, tee shirts will be
online imminently waawaawoo
While there are no upcoming events for IFIAAR, New Yorkers should look out for these: 
How to be a Good Creature at Pioneer Works
Story Telling for Earthly Survival screenings
(PS sign up for the animal studies newsletter)

MEANWHILE IFIAAR will be releasing a cassette of the sound work by
Archival Feedback featured in Classroom. This recording features both the extinct Dusky Seaside Sparrow and the currently endangered Grasshopper Sparrow, both native to Florida where the duo live and work. Read a little about the current challenge to save the sparrow here

" In fact, you have to be careful with the laser pointer not to injure a cat because you can get so much into the chasing that little red dot that he'll - he can injure himself if you're not careful about how you do it." - Temple Grandin
You cannot share your life with a dog, as I had done in Bournemouth, or a cat, and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings.
Read more at:
You cannot share your life with a dog, as I had done in Bournemouth, or a cat, and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings.
Read more at:
You cannot share your life with a dog, as I had done in Bournemouth, or a cat, and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings.
Read more at: Murray Bookchin

Greetings humans

I had two ideas in mind for this month, both stemming from my recent trip to Turkey. I've decided to go with the more digestable and direct since the more I wrote on the other, the more research I was getting into, the longer it was going to take. Stay tuned though and enjoy a little rumination on köpek and kedi :)

Autonomy and the Animal

Though I’ve been to a few countries in which dogs and cats roam freely through the streets, none has felt quite as conscientious as in Turkey.
When you walk down the street sometimes a dog will choose to join you, following or trotting side by side for blocks. If you eat outside at a restaurant a cat may jump in your lap for pets or patiently wait by your table for a little piece of cheese or bread. Some neighborhoods in Istanbul are even renowned for the comfortable lives they offer the generations of cats that continue to call it home. The 2017 documentary Kedi highlights some of those lives and relationships.

Historically, as a predominantly muslim country, many people have not allowed cats and dogs in their own homes, but this has not prevented them from extending hospitality and consideration as members of the neighborhood. In Istanbul they are believed to have been part of the street culture for hundreds of years.

In an age where Americans are beginning to give their dogs and cats anti-depressants, visiting psychics, and having to closely manage social interactions to avoid lawsuits, what’s so impressive is that these animals are managing their own lives and their behavior is reflective of healthy, curious, respectful individuals. They are not the delicate, infantilized creatures we so often project them to be. The proprietary relationship we’ve created in America as the standard of what is considered ‘correct’ is really disappointing sometimes in how it lets down so many animals’ ability to thrive to their potentials. This includes genetic restrictions of breeds leading to disability and unstable behavioral patterns, some of it is physical restriction of people’s individual commitment as companions and facilitators to provide adequate space, attention, and stimuli. Even thinking of all the animals waiting in shelters to be adopted but are more than capable of taking care of themselves in the world...

There are problems of course: without individual commitment or liability, not all animals are provided with the level of health care they may need.There are programs that help tag individuals while also treating them for medical ailments, spaying and neutering, but there are far more animals to account for than can be tracked down.  Even common issues like ear-mites, and fleas could lead to early death for young or sick individuals. Cats of course can decimate vulnerable bird populations and dogs can contract rabies or spreadable illness.

Even for humans though, these street interactions are such a peaceful step away from our androcentric city lives. Wouldn’t you like to pet a kitten on your way to work? Or say hello to an old fat canine friend in the same vacation town you visit every year (looking at you George!)?
< image: GEORGE!!> I hope with the loosening of laws around where you can and can’t bring your companion friend in the US we can begin to adopt some of the same societal complexity and intermingling that makes these interactions feel so special and calming. They are reflective of how we became so entangled with these furry friends to begin with and their innate instinct to function in the world we made together. 


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

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