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Anne Galloway 'Speculative Design and Glass Slaughterhouses' - This is HCD
"Andy: You’ve got quite an interesting background. I’m going to ask you about in a second. I wanted to start with the quote from Ursula Le Guin that you have on your website. It’s from the Lathe of Heaven. “We’re in the world, not against it. It doesn’t work to try and stand outside things and run them that way, it just doesn’t work. It goes against life. There is a way, but you have to follow it, the world is, no matter how we think it ought to be, you have to be with it, you have to let it be.

Then on the More Than Human website, you have these three questions. What if we refuse to uncouple nature and culture? What if we deny that human beings are exceptional? What if we stop speaking and listening only to ourselves? The More Than Human lab explores everyday entanglements of humans and non-humans and imagines more sustainable ways of thinking, making, and doing. Anne, let’s get started by first talking about what do you mean by all of that?

Anne: The Ursula Le Guin quote I love mostly because a critical perspective or an activist perspective, anything that says we ought to be changing the world in any way, it always assumes that we need to fix something, that the world is broken and that designers especially are well-suited to be able to solve some of these problems. I like thinking about what it means to respond to injustice by accepting it, not in the sense of believing that it’s okay or right, because clearly, it’s been identify as unjust. I love Le Guin’s attention to the fact that there is a way to be in the world.

As soon as we think that we’re outside of it, any choices or decisions or actions that we take are, well, they sit outside of it as well. I like being embedded in the trouble. I like Donna Haraway’s idea of staying with the trouble. It’s not that we have to accept that things are problematic, but rather that we have to work within the structures that already exist. Not to keep them that way, in fact, many should be dismantled or changed. Rather, to accept that there is a flow to the universe.

Of course, Le Guin was talking about Taoism, but here what I wanted to draw attention to is often our imperative to fix or to solve or to change things comes with a belief that we’re not part of the world that we’re trying to fix and change. It’s that that I want to highlight. That when we start asking difficult questions about the world, we can never remove ourselves from them. We’re complicit, we are on the receiving end of things. We’re never distant from it. I think that subtle but important shift in deciding how we approach our work is really important."



"Andy: Yes, okay. I was thinking about this, I was reading, in conjunction, this little Le Guin quote, I was trying to think, it’s unusual in the sense that it’s a discipline or a practice of design that uses its own practice to critique itself. It’s using design to critique design in many respects. A lot of what speculative design is talking about is, look what happens when we put stuff into the world, in some way, without much thought. I was trying to think if there was another discipline that does that. I think probably in the humanities there are, and certainly in sociology I think there probably is, where it uses its own discipline to critique itself. It’s a fairly unusual setup.

Anne: I would think actually it’s quite common in the humanities, perhaps the social sciences, where it’s not common is in the sciences. Any reflexive turn in any of the humanities would have used the discipline. Historiography is that sort of thing. Applied philosophy is that sort of thing. Reflexive anthropology is that sort of thing. I think it’s actually quite common, just not in the sciences, and design often tries to align itself with the sciences instead.

Andy: Yes, there was a great piece in the Aeon the other day, about how science doesn’t have an adequate description or explanation for consciousness. Yet, it’s the only thing it can be certain of. With that, it also doesn’t really seem to come up in the technology industry that much, because it’s so heavily aligned with science. Technology, and you’ve got this background in culture studies and science and technology and society, technology is a really strong vein throughout speculative design. Indeed, your work, right? Counting sheep is about the Internet of Things, and sheep. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that and why I am talking to you from the picture things to the Lord of the Rings, it basically looks like you’re living in part of the Shire in Middle Earth?

Anne: I do live in a place that looks remarkably like the Shire. It’s a bit disconcerting at times. The science and technology question in speculative design I think is first of all a matter of convenience. Science fiction, speculation, they lean historically, habitually towards science and tech. It becomes an easy target for critique. Not that it’s not necessary, but it’s right there, so why not? There’s that element to it. It has an easier ability to be transformed into something fanciful or terrifying, which allows for certain kinds of storytelling through speculation, that I think people, both creators and audiences or readers really enjoy.

Now, the irony of all of this, of course is that arguably one of the greatest concerns that people have would be tied to technological determinism, the idea that we’re going to have these technologies anyway, so what are we going to do about it? Now, when you speculate using these technologies, what you’re doing is actually reinforcing the idea that these technologies are coming, you play right into the same technological determinism that you’re trying to critique. In fact, one of the counting sheep scenarios was designed specifically to avoid the technology. It was the one that got the most positive responses."



"Andy: With all of this, and I may this pop at the beginning, just before we were recording, that there’s a sense of, because of everything going on in the world, that if only designers could run the world, everything would be fine, right, because we can see all of the solutions to everything. What would you want designers to get out of this kind of work or this kind of perspective?

Anne: Humility. That simple. I am one of those people. It’s because of being an ethnographer as well and doing participant observation and interviewing many people and their ideas about design. I’ve run into far more people who think that designers are arrogant than ones who don’t. This has always really interested me. What is it that designers do that seems to rub non-designers the wrong way? Part of it is this sense of, or implication that they know better than the rest of us, or that a designer will come in and say, “Let me fix your problem”, before even asking if there is a problem that the person wants fixed.

I actually gave a guest lecture in a class just the other day, where I suggested that there were people in the world who thought that designers were arrogant. One of the post-graduate students in the class really took umbrage at this and wanted to know why it was that designers were arrogant for offering to fix problems, but a builder wasn’t, or a doctor wasn’t.

Andy: What was your answer?

Anne: Well, my answer was, generally speaking, people go to them first and say, “I have this problem, I need help.” Whereas, designers come up with a problem, go find people that they think have it and then tell them they’d like to solve it. I think just on a social level, that is profoundly anti-social. That is not how people enjoy socially interacting with people.

Andy: I can completely see that and I think that I would say that argument has also levelled, quite rightly, a lot of Silicon Valley, which is the answer to everything is some kind of technology engineering startup to fix all the problems that all the other technology and engineering startups that are no longer startups have created. It’s probably true of quite a lot of areas of business and finance, as well, and politics, for that matter. The counter, I could imagine a designer saying, “Well, that’s not really true”, because one of the things as human-centred designers, the first thing we do, we go out, we do design ethnography, we go and speak to people, we go and observe, we go and do all of that stuff. We really understand their problems. We’re not just telling people what needs to be fixed. We’re going there and understanding things. What’s your response to that?

Anne: Well, my first response is, yes, that’s absolutely true. There are lots of very good designers in the world who do precisely that. Because I work in an academic institution though, I’m training students. What my job involves is getting the to the point where they know the difference between telling somebody something and asking somebody something. what it means to actually understand their client or their user. I prefer to just refer to them as people. What it is that people want or need. One of the things that I offer in all of my classes is, after doing the participant observation, my students always have the opportunity to submit a rationale for no design intervention whatsoever.

That’s not something that is offered to people in a lot of business contexts because there’s a business case that’s being made. Whereas, I want my students to understand that sometimes the research demonstrates that people are actually okay, and that even if they have little problems, they’re still okay with that, that people are quite okay with living with contradictions and that they will accept some issues because it allows for other things to emerge. That if they want, they can provide the evidence for saying, “Actually, the worst thing we could do in this scenario is design anything and I refuse to design.”

Andy: Right, that and the people made trade-offs all the time because of the pain of change is much … [more]
annegalloway  design  2019  speculativefiction  designethnography  morethanhuman  ursulaleguin  livestock  agriculture  farming  sheep  meat  morethanhumanlab  activism  criticaldesign  donnaharaway  stayingwiththetrouble  taoism  flow  change  changemaking  systemsthinking  complicity  catherinecaudwell  injustice  justice  dunneandraby  consciousness  science  technology  society  speculation  speculativedesign  questioning  fiction  future  criticalthinking  whatif  anthropology  humanities  reflexiveanthropology  newzealand  socialsciences  davidgrape  powersoften  animals  cows  genevievebell  markpesce  technologicaldeterminism  dogs  cats  ethnography  cooperation  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  slow  slowness  time  perception  psychology  humility  problemsolving  contentment  presence  peacefulness  workaholism  northamerica  europe  studsterkel  protestantworkethic  labor  capitalism  passion  pets  domestication 
11 weeks ago by robertogreco
Can You Pet the Dog? (@CanYouPetTheDog) | Twitter
"A catalog of pettable and non-pettable dogs in video games. Manual input resulting in visual representation of petting is required for affirmation."
dogs  animals  videogames  games  gaming  pets  multispecies  twitter  petting 
march 2019 by robertogreco
10,000 ["How to Send a Message 10,000 Years into the Future."]
"This is The Ray Cat Solution:

1. Engineer cats that change colour in response to radiation.

2. Create the culture/legend/history that if your cat changes colour, you should move some place else."



"In the 1980's, a curious project was proposed by two scientists : why not creating a breed of radioactive cats that would change colors when they are next to nuclear waste?

OFFICIAL SELECTION Pariscience 2015 - International Science Film Festival -- This film is on free access - if you like it or if you feel it should be seen, feel free to share it.

THE RAY CAT SOLUTION
Philosophers Françoise Bastide and Paolo Fabbri were part of the Human Interference Task Force, employed by the US Department of Energy and Bechtel Corp at the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository in 1981. Their solution consisted of two steps:

Engineer a cat that changes colour in response to radiation.

Create a culture around this cat, such that if your cat changes colour, you should move someplace else.

This requires a combination of scientific work in biology as well as social sciences and art, and there are many questions to consider:

• How do we actually engineer this cat?
• What are some of the scientific challenges?
• How do we create this culture?
• What types of art are more effective?

and much more..."



"WHAT DOES THE RAY CAT MEAN FOR YOU?
This project is as multi-faceted as it can be. Everyone's expertise and opinions are welcome and encouraged. We are here to challenge each other, ask questions, learn and share knowledge and perspectives with eachother.

SCIENCE
How do we engineer a colour change in response to radiation?
Where do we start and what are the challenges?

ART & DESIGN
How do we send a message 10,000 years into the future?
What types of projects do we need to do in order to create this culture?

POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHY
How is science funded?
What are the regulations and current perspectives on this type of project?
Should ray cats be allowed to exist?"



"SHARE, DISCUSS, CREATE, INVENT
This isn't a project. It is a movement. It doesn't have a particular direction, nor is it meant to. We are starting out with a blank canvas, and many directions we could go. The movement exists simply from those who choose to visit it and contribute.

We encourage creativity, and discussion. Question each other's ideas, inspire new ones, think out of the box and listen to what people have to say. Every mistake made and every question asked is progress.

This movement and process is bigger than the cats. This page also exists as a challenge to artists, scientists and anyone. How provocative are your ideas? Does this project have any less or perhaps more meaning than yours? Are your ideas truly creative and innovative?

There are many questions to answer, and even more questions to ask. We are in our first few years of another ten thousand. If nothing else, we at least have some time.

CONTACT US
Feeling inspired? Want to start a project? Not sure how you can contribute? Write to us at:

info@brico.bio "
cats  bioluminescence  biology  bioengineering  multispecies  radiation  via:vruba  pets  françoisebastide  paolofabbri  color  art  design  science  future 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Waiting for Happiness by Nomi Stone - Poems | Academy of American Poets
"Dog knows when friend will come home
because each hour friend’s smell pales,
air paring down the good smell
with its little diamond. It means I miss you
O I miss you, how hard it is to wait
for my happiness, and how good when
it arrives. Here we are in our bodies,
ripe as avocados, softer, brightening
with latencies like a hot, blue core
of electricity: our ankles knotted to our
calves by a thread, womb sparking
with watermelon seeds we swallowed
as children, the heart again badly hurt, trying
and failing. But it is almost five says
the dog. It is almost five."
poems  poetry  morethanhuman  multispecies  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  dogs  pets  nomistone  relationships 
december 2018 by robertogreco
We met the world’s first domesticated foxes - YouTube
"This week, we meet the very cute and very bizarre result of an almost 60-year-long experiment: they’re foxes that have been specially bred for their dog-like friendliness toward people. We do a little behavior research of our own, and discover what scientists continue to learn from the world’s most famous experiment in domestication. The fox experiment continues under the supervision of Lyudmila Trut at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics. Her book “How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog)”, co-authored by Lee Alan Dugatkin, details the history and science behind the experiment."
foxes  animals  domestication  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  2018  pets  morethanhuman  multispecies  wildlife 
september 2018 by robertogreco
From Fire Hydrants To Rescue Work, Dogs Perceive The World Through Smell : NPR
"Specially trained dogs have been known to sniff out explosives, drugs, missing persons and certain cancer cells, but author Alexandra Horowitz tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that extraordinary olfactory abilities aren't just the domain of working dogs.

Horowitz says that all dogs have the ability to create "a picture of the world through smell," thanks, in part, to the design of their snouts. A canine's nose is "stereoscopic," she explains, which means that each nostril is controlled separately, allowing the dog not only to detect a particular smell, but also to locate it in space.

In her new book, Being a Dog, Horowitz discusses the mechanics of canine smell and explains how dogs can use their noses to understand what time of day it is or whether a storm is coming.

Horowitz warns that pulling dogs away from smell-rich environments, such as fire hydrants and tree trunks, can cause them to lose their predisposition to smell. When dogs are living in "our visual world," she says, "they start attending to our pointing and our gestures and our facial expressions more, and less to smells.""
smell  smells  dogs  time  2016  multispecies  animals  pets  morethanhuman 
may 2018 by robertogreco
KitTea
"KitTea is the first cat cafe in San Francisco and the first cat cafe established in the nation! We're a unique cafe experience dedicated to enriching the interactions between humans and felines in a relaxing environment. Slow down, sip some tea, and support rescue cats.

We provide high-quality care to our permanent resident rescue felines and work with local cat rescues, including San Francisco's Animal Care and Control, Toni's Kitty Rescue, and Wonder Cat Rescue to find our featured adoptable cat(s) a forever home at each cat's own pace. Whenever possible, we go outside of the area to shelters where the kitties would otherwise be put down."

[See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aak1ARFmvc ]
cats  classideas  animals  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  multispecies  tea  restaurants  pets  morethanhuman  sanfrancisco  teahouses 
may 2018 by robertogreco
75% of the World's Dogs Don't Have a Breed, but They Do Have a Name. Meet the Village Dog. | Rover.com
"There are about 250 million pet dogs on the planet, and more than 420 recognized dog breeds. Sounds like a lot, right? But there are an estimated one billion dogs on earth. Once all the pets are counted up, that leaves 750 million dogs who aren’t domestic, but aren’t quite wild animals (source).

These are village dogs, and their place in history and in our modern world is fascinating. Read on to learn more about village dogs!

Defining the Village Dog

It’s almost easier to define “village dogs” by what they’re not. Village dogs are not breeds created by humans, nor are they entirely breed-less. They’re not the same as strays or mongrels, and they’re not feral (i.e., completely unsocialized to humans). But they’re not exactly domesticated, either.

So what are village dogs? According to dog genetics expert Adam Boyko, “When you are looking at village dogs, you have something more akin to natural selection, albeit in an environment that’s managed by humans.”

In other words, they are semi-wild, semi-socialized canines living in or near human settlements. In fact, village dogs may be a living version of the ancient dogs who first chose to live alongside humans almost 15,000 years ago, well before human-directed artificial selection and breeding took over.

For an in-depth look at village dogs and the evolution of the modern dog, check out the groundbreaking book “What is a Dog?” by research partners and married couple Raymond and Lorna Coppinger."
dogs  animals  pets  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  multispecies  morethanhuman  2018 
may 2018 by robertogreco
The Way We Treat Our Pets Is More Paleolithic Than Medieval
"Hunter-gatherers tended to think of pets as part of the family, and so do we. But in other time periods, intimacy with animals has been more taboo."
animals  multispecies  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  pets  2018  hunter-gatherers  intimacy  relationships  medieval  paleolithic  families  morethanhuman 
april 2018 by robertogreco
25 small ways to make SF a better place - Curbed SF
"When it comes to making change at the local level, sometimes the tiniest actions can spark the biggest changes—and in San Francisco, where the options for helping the greater good can seem overwhelming, starting with small daily tasks is the best place to start. As more wealth pours into the city and the economic divide grows wider than ever before, it’s important to help out your fellow San Franciscan, zip code and tax bracket be damned.

For San Franciscans looking to make their hometown a better place, we present these small, but substantial, ways that you can help make a difference.

From your home

1. Stay informed about local news. It’s hard not to be aware of national news these days, but to get a sense of what’s changing in your immediate surroundings, soak in some local news by making local papers and blogs a part of your daily media diet. The San Francisco Chronicle is, of course, important, but other SF outlets can help you stay informed—from hyperlocal blogs (Richmond SF Blog, Mission Local, etc.) to established sources (Hoodline, San Francisco Magazine, etc.) and even more. Oh, and don’t forget Curbed SF.

2. Compost. Don’t believe the malodorous lies! Composting is easy and a great way of helping the environment from your kitchen. If your building or home does not yet have a green composting bin, the city will send you one free of charge.

3. Follow these pro-housing advocates and journalists on Twitter: Kim-Mai Cutler, Liam Dillon, Victoria Fierce, SF YIMBY, Laura Foote Clark, and YIMBY Action will keep you abreast of both anti-growth hypocrisy and action items that will help abate the California housing crisis.

4. Remember reusable bags. They’re easy to compile, but difficult to remember once you’re at Whole Foods. The cost of plastic and paper bags, both environmental and economical, are too much to bear. Stick a few reusable bags by your front door so you remember to bring them to your next shopping trip.

5. Donate, don’t discard, your old clothes. For those of you who simply cannot bear the thought of wearing last year’s jeans (perish the thought!) or want to whittle down your wardrobe to a minimalist offering, don’t trash your old clothes. Shelters like the St. Anthony Foundation can redistribute clean clothing to homeless San Franciscans. If you have professional women’s attire to toss, consider give them to Dress for Success. And Larkin Street Youth accepts gently worn clothing for at-risk, runaway youths.

In your neighborhood

6. Learn about your neighborhood’s history. Did you know the Castro used to be an Irish-American working-class neighborhood? Or that South of Market used the be called South of the Slot, which later became a novella by Nobel Prize-winning scribe Jack London? And who knew that Presidio Terrace was originally designed as a whites-only neighborhood? Take a deep dive into your neighborhood’s past, good and bad. After all, the city isn’t a blank slate.

7. Donate old books. Grab a handful (or trunkload) of books from your home library and add some inventory to the nearest Little Free Library. There are dozens in San Francisco and hundreds in the Bay Area. If you’d rather donate to the library, take your books to the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. It’s a tax write-off!

8. Take care of a neighbor’s pet at PAWS. For some people, especially those who are chronically ill, frail, and isolated by disease or age, animal companionship is crucial to their health and well-being. Volunteer with PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) to get paired one-on-one with members of the community (who may be LGBT seniors or people living with HIV, Hepatitis C, or cancer) who need help caring for their pet. Ideal for animal lovers with no-pet rental agreements!

9. Attend neighborhood meetings. The best way to find out about what’s up in your neighborhood is to attend public meetings organized each month by your local community association. Here’s a good place to start.

10. Wave to tourists when they pass you on cable cars or tour buses. They freakin’ love that.

Along your route

11. Take public transit. It’s the best way to get to know your city. Learn Muni and BART routes along your most-traveled roads and hop on. And you’d be surprised how convenient the cable cars and F lines are.

12. Put foot to pedal. San Francisco is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Here’s a beginner’s guide to help you get started.

13. Be kind to the homeless. It’s going to take great leaps and bounds from the city to solve its chronic homeless problem. In the meantime, there are small things that you can do to empower those who need help. For starters, remember that people become homeless for a number of reasons—so leave the stereotyping or judgmental attitudes behind.

14. Document your city. One of the best ways to get to know the city is to shooting photos. Better yet, post them on Instagram. You will discover thousands of photographers also share your love of the city’s many neighborhoods. It’s a great way of take a closer look at your hood and getting to know your neighbors. Just don’t forget to geotag.

15. Be a conscientious pedestrian. From moving over to the right when using your phone to helping fellow pedestrians with strollers, there are a lot of ways to improve your two-foot mode of transportation around town. Because it’s 2018 and there’s no excuse for blocking a sidewalk. Here’s a pedestrian etiquette guide to help sharpen your two-step game.

In your community

16. Say hello to people/ask people how they’re doing. San Francisco can feel like a big small town, and its residents know it. If you’re walking around a neighborhood, or stopping into a local store, say, “Hello.” Stop being rude to service industry workers. Do not order with your phone attached to your ear. It’s dehumanizing. Be friendly.

17. Be a poll worker on election day. Looking for a way to up your voting game? Become a poll worker. It takes roughly 3,000 workers on election day to bets all the ballots processed. And with this upcoming June election being a crucial one, the city could use your help. (Psst, you will also get a $195 stipend.)

18. Fight hunger in the community. The uptick in foodie trends and prices have made nourishment seem like a privilege for the lucky and well-to-do. Not so. People are still starving in the city. Get involved with groups like San Francisco Food Bank, GLIDE Church, and Project Open Hand to make sure everyone in the community has food on the table.

19. Volunteer with the San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs. The department’s Pathways to Citizenship Initiative program always needs volunteers, interpreters, and legal professionals to assist with their bi-monthly naturalization workshops.

20. Get off Nextdoor. Beginning with good intentions, Nextdoor has turned into a cesspool of racism and bigotry for a lot of San Francisco residents.

With a group

21. Hook up with the Friends of the Urban Forest. See how you can help add foliage to San Francisco’s streets with this choice nonprofit. They organize everything from neighborhood tree plantings to sidewalk landscaping.

22. Dedicate your time to volunteering at one of the two Friends of the San Francisco Public Library bookstores. All proceeds benefit the public library system in San Francisco.

23. Host a letter-writing party. Written letters get more traction than email or @’ing your local lawmaker. If there’s an issue you feel strongly about, it’s more than likely you’re not the only one, and a letter-writing party is a great way to organize your community for a positive cause. Best of all, you can add a few bottles of wine and turn it into a real party.

24. Volunteer at Animal Care and Control. ACC receives roughly 10,000 animals every year and rely on volunteers to help out. These pets don’t get the luxe treatment found at nearly SF SPCA, so they could use all the love they deserve.

25. Show up. When people come together—especially in times of great need—they can do amazing things. This was especially true during the AIDS crisis and of the moments following the Loma Prieta earthquake. Go to protests. Attend rallies. Fight for others’ rights. Relish the fact that you live in a city that, in one way or another, however dim it seems at times, seeks for the betterment of all humans."
classideas  sanfrancisco  civics  community  activism  engagement  pedestrians  2018  etiquette  publictransit  transportation  bikes  biking  nextdoor  volunteering  animals  pets  nature  trees  protests  friendliness  elections  neighborhoods  environment  composting  recycling 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Animals Week - CityLab
"Urban citizens of all species"

[See also: "When City Life Is Wild: This week, we’re fishing up stories about urban animals of all species."
https://www.citylab.com/life/2017/08/when-city-life-is-wild/536097/

"Curbing Your Dog, All Around the World: This blogger has the inside scoop on cities’ cheekiest signs."
https://www.citylab.com/life/2017/08/dog-poop-signs-around-the-world/535920/

"When Crows Attack: One man is on a mission to map bird-on-human aggression around the world."
https://www.citylab.com/environment/2017/08/when-crows-attack/536409/

"Will Cities Ever Outsmart Rats?: The age-old strategy is “see a rat, kill a rat.” The new plan is to end an infestation before it ever begins."
https://www.citylab.com/solutions/2017/08/smart-cities-fight-rat-infestations-big-data/535407/

"Urban Monkeys Are Too Chunky: Put down that banana! Eating human food is making the world’s city-dwelling simians sick."
https://www.citylab.com/environment/2017/08/urban-monkeys-are-too-chunky/536055/

"'We Thought We Would Be Ruled By Robots': American crow populations are swelling in cities. Perhaps by better understanding them we can better understand ourselves."
https://www.citylab.com/environment/2017/08/we-thought-we-would-be-ruled-by-robots/536118/

"The Deer in Your Yard Are Here to Stay: The deer population of the eastern U.S. has exploded and cities are trying to keep it in check. But the options available to them are limited, and fraught."
https://www.citylab.com/environment/2017/08/the-deer-in-your-yard-are-here-to-stay/535938/

"Green Roofs Are Saving Birds and Hatching Bird-Watchers: When landscape architects attract flocks to urban centers, city dwellers are keen to look up."
https://www.citylab.com/environment/2017/08/green-design-has-changed-urban-birding/535839/
animals  cities  multispecies  2017  wildlife  pets  nature  birds  deer  monkeys  dogs  rats  crows  corvids 
august 2017 by robertogreco
The Dodo on Twitter: "This little kitten was adopted because his very special siblings needed him 😻 https://t.co/GaWtyadTqA"
"This little kitten was adopted because his very special siblings needed him 😻

Wobbly Kitten Loves His New Siblings
Special thanks to North Shore Animal League America for helping Blossom find her forever home: http://thedo.do/nsala."
cats  pets  disability  2017  animals  disabilities 
august 2017 by robertogreco
The Wild Dogs of Istanbul | The Smart Set
"No, you’d rather not cuddle with them. They seem a little too unpredictable and unkempt for that. And it’s not tempting to project human characteristics on them either. But it is easy to feel sorry for some of them, who bear traces of injuries, disease, and accidents. Most resemble one another: large, with a light-brown, sometimes darker coat. Some have short legs paired with unusually large bodies. Despite their scars, the wild dogs of Istanbul seem self-sufficient and untroubled, as if no one could mean them any harm. You can find them everywhere: between parked cars or, early in the morning, under the chairs in front of the Starbucks on Taksim Square. Often they just lie there and doze. Are they recovering from last night’s activities? Most people don’t seem bothered by them, but it’s obvious that some, a little uncertain, take pains to avoid them. But they are not to be made fun of because of that.

The dogs’ presence in this metropolis is not entirely without problems. Some of the animals are said to be so smart they understand traffic lights, but more often they cross streets in front of terrified drivers, keep residents awake with their barking, or even attack someone. In fact, I have myself observed an incident in my neighborhood Tarlabası, where a young man was literally chased by two dogs. He fell to the ground and dragged himself into a barbershop. It was painful to watch, but it all happened so quickly that one couldn’t really intervene; besides, how would one disperse the dogs without any adequate stick or tool? I don’t know what exactly preceded the incident, why the dogs had attacked the man in the first place. These attacks, however, happen far less often than one might expect, considering the dogs’ constant presence. No reliable count exists, but according to estimates, the dogs number about a hundred thousand. When you come to Istanbul, you will see that this doesn’t sound like an exaggeration.

The dogs’ position is a strange one: They are used to having people around, and even depend on them, but they don’t live directly together with humans. Behavioral scientist Konrad Lorenz, who once wrote about Istanbul’s stray dogs, observed that they carefully avoid loose small hens and newborn sheep — a lesson they learned in order to survive. Instead, they feed themselves in two ways. First, residents in the poorer sections of the city often put their trash bags out in front of their houses, where dogs and cats plunder them before trash trucks cart off the remaining piles in the early morning. But more and more metal trash cans are popping up, and their content is inaccessible, at least for dogs. Second, many people follow a custom (unfamiliar to Western observers) of more or less adopting a dog and regularly feeding it, without bringing it into their homes. Some people even make beds out of cardboard that become a dog’s regular spot in front of the house. Animals in these relationships are not full-fledged pets, but they are not complete strays either. In any case, their uncommitted “owners” never take them for walks. This reluctance to take in the animals can’t really be due to the size of the apartments; in a society where the single lifestyle is practically unknown, almost all residences are designed for families, and rarely measure less than 80 square meters. So what is the reason?

In Turkey, relationships to dogs are complex. In his novel My Name Is Red, Orhan Pamuk enters the mind of dog and asks himself about the origins of mankind’s enmity:
Why do you believe that those who touch us spoil their ablutions? If your caftan brushes against our damp fur, why do you insist on washing that caftan seven times like a frenzied woman? Only tinsmiths could be responsible for the slander that a pot licked by a dog must be thrown away or retinned. Or perhaps, yes, cats…

Although there is no clear basis for this belief in the Koran, strict Muslims consider dogs — especially their drool — to be unclean. People don’t let the animals into their homes because they could dirty the prayer rug and because, even today, little tradition exists of keeping dogs as pets. Furthermore, a common belief holds that köpekler, as dogs are called, prevent angels from visiting. Not all Turks share these views. In parts of Istanbul influenced by the West, all sorts of purebred dogs can be found, including traditional fighting breeds. In these cases, dogs are highly desirable status symbols, and many stores sell pet supplies. However, problems with religious neighbors disturbed by the presence of dogs can arise. “Many people want a dog, but don‘t know how to go about it,” says Bilge Okay of the dog protection society SHKD, which works toward better treatment of the animals.

Although keeping pets in this way is a very recent development, the breeding of dogs has a long tradition in the region. One of the oldest pieces of evidence for the domestication of dogs at all comes from Çayönü — in eastern Turkey, near the border with Syria –— from approximately 12,000 years ago. Well-known breeds like the Kangal, a very large shorthair, come to mind as well. Kangals were herd dogs used by Anatolian shepherds even before Islam spread throughout the region; they were associated with one of the 12 months of the year. But back to the wild dogs of Istanbul. Their presence in the city stretches far back, but their origins are the matter of legend: Do they hail from Turkmenistan? Did they arrive with the troops of the conqueror Mehmed II in the 15th century? Wherever their roots may lie, they have been an established part of the city for centuries, skulking in the shadows of the buildings.

Accounts of travelers — sometimes baffled, sometimes disconcerted or frightened — rarely fail to mention the dogs. In the 17th century, Jean de Thévenot noted that rich citizens of Istanbul bequeathed their fortunes to the city’s dogs to ensure their continued presence. And his contemporary Joseph Pitton de Tournefort heard from butchers who sold meat specially intended for feeding the dogs. He also saw how the city’s residents treated the animals’ wounds and prepared straw mats and even small doghouses for their canine neighbors. No less an establishment than the legendary Pera Palas, the best hotel, cared for the dogs and fed them regularly. Edmondo De Amicis, an Italian traveler whose book Constantinople records his impressions of the city in the mid-19th century, went so far as to describe Istanbul as a “giant kennel.” And Grigor Yakob Basmajean, an Orientalist born in Edirne, claimed in 1890 that no other city in the world had as many dogs as the metropolis on the Bosporus. The dogs were so omnipresent that streetcar employees had to drive them from the tracks with long sticks so the horse-drawn wagons could pass through. Passers-by could often stop to watch them fighting with one another. Their howling could be heard all night; there were so many dogs that their voices blended into a constant sound “like the quaking of frogs in the distance,” as one observer vividly described. It sounds like the dogs, not the authorities, set the tone. In popular shadow-puppet plays, dogs were compared to the poor.

Dealings with canines were always marked by ambivalence. Although dogs formed part of a romantic cityscape, caricatures from the Ottoman period depict them as threats to be stopped, along with cholera, crime, and women in European clothing. Again and again, attempts were made to catch them and remove them from the city. In the late 19th century, Sultan Abdülaziz decreed that the dogs should be rounded up and deported to Hayirsiz, an island of barren, steep cliffs in the Marmara Sea. Sivriada, a tiny island to which Byzantine rulers once banned criminals, made headlines in 1911 when the governor of Istanbul released tens of thousands of dogs there. A yellowed postcard shows hundreds of dogs on the beach; their voices could be heard even at great distances. However, an earthquake that occurred shortly thereafter was taken as a sign of God’s displeasure, and the dogs were brought back.

Attempts to stem the plague of dogs in the city continued, with more or less success. Their presence was always seen as a sign that the city could not impose order and guarantee the safety of residents. Cities like New York and Paris, where the problem was under control, became role models. Shortly after the revolution, Mary Mills Patrick, an American who taught at Istanbul’s Women’s College, thanked the new Turkish regime for its efforts in this area; after all, a civilized city was no place for packs of dogs. But even in the decades that followed, the dogs never completely disappeared. Occasional efforts to eliminate them were seen as acts of barbarism. Until 2004, when a law to protect the animals was finally passed, meatballs laced with strychnine were not uncommon. But today such draconian measures are things of the past.

Real change will only come once new solutions for the city’s trash problem are found and garbage is no longer simply placed on the curb, as it is in many neighborhoods today. Then things will be tough for the dogs. Animal protection activists today call for a concerted effort to catch the dogs, vaccinate them against rabies, sterilize them, and tag them before releasing them back into their territory. The World Health Organization also recommends this strategy. But gray areas exist in how authorities deal with the problem. Animal advocates claim that inexperienced veterinarians pack the neutered dogs into overcrowded cages, load them into trucks, and dump them in Belgrade Forest, about 10 miles northeast of the city near the Black Sea coast. There, the dogs are often attacked by wild animals or starve. “In the end, it would be better to put the animals to sleep than to release them in the unfamiliar wilderness,” says Bilge Okay. “But that would be against the religious beliefs of the people operating these facilities.”

… [more]
via:tealtan  2012  istnbul  dogs  multispecies  cities  urbanism  cats  animals  pets  orhanpamuk  history  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  strays  quiltros 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Kedi
[Trailer: https://vimeo.com/87816089
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgYAuo9UYoE

"KEDI is a documentary feature focusing on the millions of street cats that live in one of the world's most populated cities and the people who love and care for them. It is a profile of an ancient city and its unique people, seen through the eyes of the most mysterious and beloved animal humans have ever known, the Cat."]

[See also:

"Ode To The Street Cat: 'Kedi' Follows Istanbul's Famous Felines"
http://www.npr.org/2017/02/15/515188621/ode-to-the-street-cat-kedi-follows-istanbuls-famous-felines

"The street cats of Istanbul have a hit with the documentary 'Kedi'"
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-kedi-cats-turkey-20170221-story.html ]
film  cats  documentary  multispecies  cities  animals  classideas  pets  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  2016 
july 2017 by robertogreco
how to do nothing – Jenny Odell – Medium
[video: https://vimeo.com/232544904 ]

"What I would do there is nothing. I’d just sit there. And although I felt a bit guilty about how incongruous it seemed — beautiful garden versus terrifying world — it really did feel necessary, like a survival tactic. I found this necessity of doing nothing so perfectly articulated in a passage from Gilles Deleuze in Negotiations:
…we’re riddled with pointless talk, insane quantities of words and images. Stupidity’s never blind or mute. So it’s not a problem of getting people to express themselves but of providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say. Repressive forces don’t stop people expressing themselves but rather force them to express themselves; what a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and ever rarer, thing that might be worth saying. (emphasis mine)

He wrote that in 1985, but the sentiment is something I think we can all identify with right now, almost to a degree that’s painful. The function of nothing here, of saying nothing, is that it’s a precursor to something, to having something to say. “Nothing” is neither a luxury nor a waste of time, but rather a necessary part of meaningful thought and speech."



"In The Bureau of Suspended Objects, a project I did while in residence at Recology SF (otherwise known as the dump), I spent three months photographing, cataloguing and researching the origins of 200 objects. I presented them as browsable archive in which people could scan the objects’ tags and learn about the manufacturing, material, and corporate histories of the objects.

One woman at the Recology opening was very confused and said, “Wait… so did you actually make anything? Or did you just put things on shelves?” (Yes, I just put things on shelves.)"



"That’s an intellectual reason for making nothing, but I think that in my cases, it’s something simpler than that. Yes, the BYTE images speak in interesting and inadvertent ways about some of the more sinister aspects of technology, but I also just really love them.

This love of one’s subject is something I’m provisionally calling the observational eros. The observational eros is an emotional fascination with one’s subject that is so strong it overpowers the desire to make anything new. It’s pretty well summed up in the introduction of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, where he describes the patience and care involved in close observation of one’s specimens:
When you collect marine animals there are certain flat worms so delicate that they are almost impossible to capture whole, for they break and tatter under the touch. You must let them ooze and crawl of their own will onto a knife blade and then lift them gently into your bottle of sea water. And perhaps that might be the way to write this book — to open the page and let the stories crawl in by themselves.

The subject of observation is so precious and fragile that it risks breaking under even the weight of observation. As an artist, I fear the breaking and tattering of my specimens under my touch, and so with everything I’ve ever “made,” without even thinking about it, I’ve tried to keep a very light touch.

It may not surprise you to know, then, that my favorite movies tend to be documentaries, and that one of my favorite public art pieces was done by the documentary filmmaker, Eleanor Coppola. In 1973, she carried out a public art project called Windows, which materially speaking consisted only of a map with a list of locations in San Francisco.

The map reads, “Eleanor Coppola has designated a number of windows in all parts of San Francisco as visual landmarks. Her purpose in this project is to bring to the attention of the whole community, art that exists in its own context, where it is found, without being altered or removed to a gallery situation.” I like to consider this piece in contrast with how we normally experience public art, which is some giant steel thing that looks like it landed in a corporate plaza from outer space.

Coppola instead casts a subtle frame over the whole of the city itself as a work of art, a light but meaningful touch that recognizes art that exists where it already is."



"What amazed me about birdwatching was the way it changed the granularity of my perception, which was pretty “low res” to begin with. At first, I just noticed birdsong more. Of course it had been there all along, but now that I was paying attention to it, I realized that it was almost everywhere, all day, all the time. In particular I can’t imagine how I went most of my life so far without noticing scrub jays, which are incredibly loud and sound like this:

[video]

And then, one by one, I started learning other songs and being able to associate each of them with a bird, so that now when I walk into the the rose garden, I inadvertently acknowledge them in my head as though they were people: hi raven, robin, song sparrow, chickadee, goldfinch, towhee, hawk, nuthatch, and so on. The diversification (in my attention) of what was previously “bird sounds” into discrete sounds that carry meaning is something I can only compare to the moment that I realized that my mom spoke three languages, not two.

My mom has only ever spoken English to me, and for a very long time, I assumed that whenever my mom was speaking to another Filipino person, that she was speaking Tagalog. I didn’t really have a good reason for thinking this other than that I knew she did speak Tagalog and it sort of all sounded like Tagalog to me. But my mom was actually only sometimes speaking Tagalog, and other times speaking Ilonggo, which is a completely different language that is specific to where she’s from in the Philippines.

The languages are not the same, i.e. one is not simply a dialect of the other; in fact, the Philippines is full of language groups that, according to my mom, have so little in common that speakers would not be able to understand each other, and Tagalog is only one.

This type of embarrassing discovery, in which something you thought was one thing is actually two things, and each of those two things is actually ten things, seems not only naturally cumulative but also a simple function of the duration and quality of one’s attention. With effort, we can become attuned to things, able to pick up and then hopefully differentiate finer and finer frequencies each time.

What these moments of stopping to listen have in common with those labyrinthine spaces is that they all initially enact some kind of removal from the sphere of familiarity. Even if brief or momentary, they are retreats, and like longer retreats, they affect the way we see everyday life when we do come back to it."



"Even the labyrinths I mentioned, by their very shape, collect our attention into these small circular spaces. When Rebecca Solnit, in her book Wanderlust, wrote about walking in the labyrinth inside the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, she said, “The circuit was so absorbing I lost sight of the people nearby and hardly heard the sound of the traffic and the bells for six o’clock.”

In the case of Deep Listening, although in theory it can be practiced anywhere at any time, it’s telling that there have also been Deep Listening retreats. And Turrell’s Sky Pesher not only removes the context from around the sky, but removes you from your surroundings (and in some ways, from the context of your life — given its underground, tomblike quality)."



"My dad said that leaving the confined context of a job made him understand himself not in relation to that world, but just to the world, and forever after that, things that happened at work only seemed like one small part of something much larger. It reminds me of how John Muir described himself not as a naturalist but as a “poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist etc. etc.”, or of how Pauline Oliveros described herself in 1974: “Pauline Oliveros is a two legged human being, female, lesbian, musician, and composer among other things which contribute to her identity. She is herself and lives with her partner, along with assorted poultry, dogs, cats, rabbits and tropical hermit crabs.” Incidentally, this has encouraged me to maybe change my bio to: “Jenny Odell is an artist, professor, thinker, walker, sleeper, eater, and amateur birdnoticer.”

3. the precarity of nothing

There’s an obvious critique of all of this, and that’s that it comes from a place of privilege. I can go to the rose garden, or stare into trees all day, because I have a teaching job that only requires me to be somewhere two days a week, not to mention a whole set of other privileges. Part of the reason my dad could take that time off was that on some level, he had enough reason to think he could get another job. It’s possible to understand the practice of doing nothing solely as a self-indulgent luxury, the equivalent of taking a mental health day if you’re lucky enough to work at a place that has those.

But here I come back to Deleuze’s “right to say nothing,” and although we can definitely say that this right is variously accessible or even inaccessible for some, I believe that it is indeed a right. For example, the push for an 8-hour workday in 1886 called for “8 hours of work, 8 hours of rest, and 8 hours of what we will.” I’m struck by the quality of things that associated with the category “What we Will”: rest, thought, flowers, sunshine.

These are bodily, human things, and this bodily-ness is something I will come back to. When Samuel Gompers, who led the labor group that organized this particular iteration of the 8-hour movement, was asked, “What does labor want?” he responded, “It wants the earth and the fullness thereof.” And to me it seems significant that it’s not 8 hours of, say, “leisure” or “… [more]
jennyodell  idleness  nothing  art  eyeo2017  photoshop  specimens  care  richardprince  gillesdeleuze  recology  internetarchive  sanfrancisco  eleanorcoppola  2017  1973  maps  mapping  scottpolach  jamesturrell  architecture  design  structure  labyrinths  oakland  juliamorgan  chapelofthechimes  paulineoliveros  ucsd  1970s  deeplisening  listening  birds  birdwatching  birding  noticing  classideas  observation  perception  time  gracecathedral  deeplistening  johncage  gordonhempton  silence  maintenance  conviviality  technology  bodies  landscape  ordinary  everyday  cyclicality  cycles  1969  mierleladermanukeles  sensitivity  senses  multispecies  canon  productivity  presence  connectivity  conversation  audrelorde  gabriellemoss  fomo  nomo  nosmo  davidabram  becominganimal  animals  nature  ravens  corvids  crows  bluejays  pets  human-animalrelations  human-animalelationships  herons  dissent  rowe  caliressler  jodythompson  francoberardi  fiverr  popos  publicspace  blackmirror  anthonyantonellis  facebook  socialmedia  email  wpa  history  bayarea  crowdcontrol  mikedavis  cityofquartz  er 
july 2017 by robertogreco
(2) '"A dog who I know quite well": everyday relationships between children and animals.' Children’s Geographies, 9(2) | Becky Tipper - Academia.edu
"Adult discourses often represent relationships between children and animals as beneficial for children's psycho-social development or as reflecting a natural‟ connection between children and animals. In contrast, this paper draws on recent work in sociology and geography where human – animal relationships are seen as socially situated and where conventional constructions of the human–animal boundary are questioned. Focussing on children's own perspectives on their connections with animals, it is argued that these relationships can also be understood within the social and relational context of children's lives. It is argued that this "relational‟ orientation to children's relationships with animals might significantly enhance our understanding of children's lives and also open up ways of thinking about the place of animals in children's (and adults') social lives."
animals  multispecies  2011  becktipper  human-animalrelationships  dogs  pets  sociology  geography  human-animalrelations  children 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Thousands of 'Second Life' Bunnies Are Going to Starve to Death This Saturday - Waypoint
[See also:
"All the Second Life rabbits are doomed, thanks to DRM"
https://boingboing.net/2017/05/20/breedables-vs-drm.html ]

"My heart is breaking for the lives of these adorable, soon-to-die virtual bunnies.

Here's a grim little curiosity for you; a story about what can happen at the intersection of DRM and virtual pets, straight from the reaches of Second Life.

One of the biggest markets in this unfairly sensationalized virtual world is in so-called "breedables." These scripted, modeled and animated objects take countless forms—from cats to chickens to dragons to shoes to flowers— with the general premise being that someone buys them blindly (usually in egg or nest form) with certain odds of getting rare versus common varieties.

As their name might imply, breedables can be raised and "bred" with each other, which created a thriving niche of individuals breeding their virtual pets for resale. Beyond that, the features vary from brand to brand. Some breedables can play with toys and interact with their owners, some produce items as part of larger systems, some are more or less just decoration. Most need to eat, as a way to ensure their creators still get a cut of the action while their original product propagates without them. Most need to communicate regularly (if not constantly) with a database, to prevent any tampering.

Maybe you can see where this is going.

The Ozimals brand has been synonymous with virtual pets in Second Life for the better part of a decade. Their breedable rabbits were explosively popular when they were initially released, and arguably kicked off the breedable boom in earnest. With good reason, because Ozimals bunnies are adorable. Even though they came before Second Life allowed full mesh models to be imported and therefore had to be assembled from more simplistically sculpted lumps and bean shapes, they remain pretty darn cute.

That cuteness made them a must-have for many. From my time in Second Life, I recall there being a general hum of legal troubles around Ozimals that resurfaced every now and then, but fast forward a few years and the bunnies have managed to hold their own in an increasingly competitive breedables marketplace. You can even find plenty of third-party accessories like ivy-laced hutches and enclosures for them up on the Second Life Marketplace (a sort of Amazon.com for the virtual world).

Then Tuesday, seemingly out of nowhere, Ozimals' owner updated their blog with some harrowing news. The blog has since been wiped entirely, but a snapshot of the post is available through the Internet Archive.) They had apparently received a Cease and Desist order (the nature of which is not explained) and since they would not be able to challenge in court they would be removing their products from the market, including the Ozimals rabbits and a newer line of cartoonish birds called Pufflings. Support for existing products, they wrote, would cease on Wednesday morning. Databases would cease to function. No more communication means no more eating, and it should come as no surprise that every breedable is programmed with a consequence for starvation.

Some bunnies will escape this unscathed. Many breedables brands offer the option to make a single creature immortal for a fee, severing its dependency on the server while also typically rendering it "sterile". No more food needed—but no more babies, either. Ozimals was no different, having offered an item called an "Everlasting Timepiece" (before shutting down their store this week) that would essentially allow a mortal rabbit to ascend to virtual bunny godhood. That's what leads to this absolutely fascinating bit of their post:
Any bunny who is Everlasting will continue to function, as he or she does now: without cost.
Any bunny who is not Everlasting will be unable to eat and will hibernate within 72 hours.

"Hibernate" is a very kind word for it, considering that these bunnies are unlikely to ever be revived. In essence, every mortal rabbit in Second Life is going to starve to death on Saturday morning. A slightly quicker and kinder fate awaited the Pufflings, who were seemingly all tied in directly to the Ozimals server and as such were deactivated en masse when the plug was pulled. But the rabbits, whose database communication seems to hinge on their interactions with their now-inactive feeder objects, will have to linger.

Just something to think about over brunch this weekend."
secondlife  rabbits  pets  virtualpets  2017  ozimals  drm 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Why Dogs Belong Off-Leash in the Outdoors | Outside Online
"If the owners are responsible, the presence of off-leash dogs can actually make the outdoors a better place"



"Responsible Dog Ownership

“I am a huge believer in enforcement,” says Bekoff, arguing that the best way to retain the privilege to walk your dog off-leash in a place like Boulder is to obey the rules—and have a reason to do so. “You need both the carrot and the stick to alter human behavior,” he continues. Having your dog off-leash means you need to be responsible.

There absolutely are places that dogs should not be off-leash, of course. And there are places dogs should not be at all. But there are also areas where human children should not be permitted to wander unsupervised and areas where humans should not tread at all. But just like laws that govern people are written to respect the decision-making powers of reasonable men, laws that govern dogs should also allow for the reasonable man.

I’m not about to let Wiley run amok in a sensitive bird nesting site or let him loose on a beach full of elephant seals. In fact, please give me a sign warning of those things. But on a backpacking trip, while camping, or just spending time in the mountains, I do want him to be off-leash. He’s happier that way, so I’m happier, too. And I don’t want that freedom to be limited by blanket legislation, personal prejudice, or fear.

It is the burden of any dog owner or caretaker to be responsible and considerate. Just like Americans traveling abroad, each of us is an ambassador for our culture. Every time someone steps in dog poop, that’s someone who’s going to thing negatively about dogs. Anyone who’s ever been bitten is going to feel even worse about them.

You know the saying “that’s why we can’t have nice things”? That’s how I feel every time I see a dog barking incessantly, every time I see dog poop laying around on a trail or sidewalk, and every time an armada of untrained chihuahuas attempts to kill Wiley. They never succeed, obviously, and Wiley is convinced they’re just playing, but a bad dog is the product of a bad dog owner. If you and I want to be able to take our dog places, then it’s up to us to make sure the dog is a positive thing, not a negative. There is no excuse: train your damn dog. And pick up his poop.

Want a real villain in this story of pets in conflict with nature? Domestic cats are reportedly killing 4 billion animals per year in the United States and are solely responsible for the extinction of at least 33 bird species. It’s cats, not dogs, that are our real enemies."
dogs  animals  pets  multispecies  outdoors  wessiler  2016  nature  wildlife 
may 2017 by robertogreco
How Michelle Garcia told the story of Juárez, a city lost to violence, through its dogs - Nieman Storyboard
"The Al Jazeera America piece, reported with Mexican reporter Ignacio Alvarado Alvarez, haunts with its indelible portrait of pets paying the price when a terrorized place goes feral"

[Referring to:
"Mexico's city of dogs: A portrait of ambitions and failures in Ciudad Juarez"
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/9/4/city-of-dogs.html ]
michellegarcía  carolinamiranda  dogs  animals  multispecies  ignacioalvaradoálvarez  juárez  ciudadjuárez  pets  photography  journalism  juarez  mexico  2017  2013 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Significant Others - How Animals Matter in Children's Everyday Lives (AniMate; 2017-2019) by Pauliina Rautio - Research Project on ResearchGate
"Institutions: University of Oulu

Goal: The objective of AniMate is to understand the ways in which animals matter to children as parts of their everyday lives. With this information child–animal relations can be supported even in the midst of societal and environmental changes.

Previous studies confirm that animal contacts have undeniably positive effects in children's lives but that these contacts are decreasing. Furthermore, it is still unknown how significant child-animal relations form and are sustained in children's daily life - how these relations matter to children beyond the adult-imposed viewpoint of
'development'.

AniMate takes children's views of what matters in their everyday life seriously. Core data are in-depth multispecies ethnographies conducted in four locations with 10-12 participating children and the animal participants named by these children. Prior to this the social and cultural contexts that shape these relations are studied with further 100 participating children."

[See also: http://commonworlds.net/portfolio_page/significant-others-how-animals-matter-as-part-of-childrens-everyday-life-communities/
https://sandpost.net/2016/11/17/congratulations-funding-for-study-of-child-animal-relations/ ]
children  multispecies  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations  childhood  animals  pets  everyday  ethnography  pauliinarautio  riikkahohti  tuuretammi  2017  sfsh 
march 2017 by robertogreco
'"A dog who I know quite well": everyday relationships between children and animals.' Children’s Geographies, 9(2) | Becky Tipper - Academia.edu
"Adult discourses often represent relationships between children and animals as beneficial for children‟s psycho-social development or as reflecting a „natural‟ connection between children and animals. In contrast, this paper draws on recent work in sociology and geography where human–animal relationships are seen as socially situated and where conventional constructions of the human–animal boundary are questioned. Focussing on children‟s own perspectives on their connections with animals, it is argued that these relationships can also be understood within the social and relational context of children‟s lives. It is argued that this„relational‟ orientation to children‟s relationships with animals might significantly enhance our understanding of children‟s lives and also open up ways of thinking about the place of animals in children‟s (and adults‟) social lives."
children  animals  multispecies  sociology  pets  kindship  family  relationality  relationships  beckytipper  2011  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  dogs  sfsh 
march 2017 by robertogreco
Rautio, P. (2017)
[via: "Children who carry stones in their pockets: on autotelic material practices in everyday life" https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263040600_Children_who_carry_stones_in_their_pockets_on_autotelic_material_practices_in_everyday_life
via https://twitter.com/steelemaley/status/843866564982194177 ]

"Pauliina Rautio
Adjunct Professor | Dosentti
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (PhD, Education) | Tutkijatohtori (KT)
University of Oulu (Finland) – Faculty of Education
(firstname.lastname@oulu.fi)

Research areas and interests

Multispecies Childhoods & Sociomaterial Pedagogies
(Or: Who and what take part in education in addition to humans, in which ways and why should we care?)

fields: childhood studies, human geography, everyday life aesthetics, environmental education
approaches: posthumanism, (new) materialism / sociomaterialism
interests: children’s intra-activity with their more than human companions / child-animal relations, human-environment relations in everyday life

Research collective and project affiliations

AniMate: How Animals Matter in Children’s Everyday Life
Principal Investigator
Partner Investigators: Riikka Hohti, Riitta-Marja Leinonen and Tuure Tammi
Funded by Emil Aaltonen Foundation, 2017-2019

Naming the World: Early years literacy and sustainability learning
Partner Investigator
Chief Investigators: Margaret Somerville, Anette Woods, Iris Duhn
Funded by Australian Research Council, 2016-2018

SAND – Social and Material Conditions of Education
Founding member
SAND is a collective of researchers of the social, historical, cultural and material discourses which underlie and condition educational practices and structures.

Common World Childhoods Research Collective
Associate Researcher
Principal Investigators: Affrica Taylor (University of Canberra, Australia), Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw (Victoria University, Canada), Mindy Blaise (Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)

SIRENE: Interdisciplinary network of environmental and sustainability education research
Member of the board of research coordination

Mother | Photographer | Dogs, chickens, other birds, horses
Son I (11), Son II (9), Partner (40), Dog I (5), Dog II (5), Chickens + a varying number of other birds (see Instagram @pihalintu for updates on our injured wild bird patients!)

Yes, yes. But what has she published? [https://onnekas.wordpress.com/julkaisut-publications/ ]"

[See also:
https://twitter.com/PauliinaRautio
https://www.instagram.com/ipauliina/
https://sandpost.net/ ]
pauliinarautio  multispecies  children  animals  pets  nature  sfsh  everyday  environmentaleducation  geography  human  sociomaterialism  childhood  pedagogy  education  teaching  learning  howweteach 
march 2017 by robertogreco
Meet the designer cats with wild blood - YouTube
"Bengals, Savannahs, and Toygers, explained.

By breeding house cats with wild animals, cat breeders developed hybrid cats that look like little leopards. Bengal cats are a breed that were developed from breeding domestic cats with asian leopard cats. The first American bengal breeder is a woman named Jean Mill, but her work has continued through other breeders. We met one of those breeders, Anthony Hutcherson, when we went to film the cats at the Westminster Dog Show. Besides bengals, we also saw another hybrid breed: savannahs. Instead of asian leopard cats, savannahs were developed by breeding house cats with servals. Unlike the other two breeds, the last breed we met, toygers, are not hybrid cats. Breeder Judy Sugden created the breed by carefully breeding domestic cats with qualities that resemble wild tigers. To learn more about the cats and the breeders that made possible, watch the video above."
cats  classideas  animals  multispecies  genetics  breeding  2017  nature  pets 
march 2017 by robertogreco
The Case Against Cats - Los Angeles Review of Books
"IMAGINE THERE’S NO CAT. Imagine there’s no mouser, no pet, no fuzzy thing rubbing against your leg, meowing for dinner. Imagine there’s no word for jazz hipsters, nothing to always land on its feet, nothing for animal hoarders to hoard, nothing to dangle from a tree limb telling you to “Hang in there!” Imagine there’re no cat memes, no Grumpy or Nyan Cat, no cat playing keyboard or framed by a misspelled catchphrase. Imagine a world without cats.

It’s not that easy to do. The cat has become ubiquitous in our lives, whether serving as pest repellent, loyal friend and companion, inexhaustible reservoir of metaphor and cultural association, or internet content. This last is the latest, but not the least, of the cat’s accomplishments. Of all the things that get shared, retweeted, liked, favorited, loved, or memed on any given day of our networked lives, up at the top of the list is always cats: cats with their heads between slices of bread, cats trying to fit into a cardboard box, cats riding around on Roombas in shark costumes. Because we love them, we put them anywhere and everywhere, spreading their images far and wide.

Cats are colonizers: this is what they do. They have colonized the internet just as they have colonized so many other habitats, always with the help of humans. This is the lesson of Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, a new book by conservation scientist Peter P. Marra and travel writer Chris Santella. From remote islands in the Pacific to the marshes of Galveston Bay, Cat Wars traces the various ways in which felines have infiltrated new landscapes, inevitably sowing death and devastation wherever they go.

Perhaps the most famous case of genocide-by-cat is that of the remote Stephens Island in New Zealand. Before the end of the 19th century, it was home to a unique species: the Stephens Island wren. One of only a few species of flightless songbirds, the wren ran low to the ground, looking more like a mouse than a bird. After a lighthouse was built on the island in 1894, a small human settlement was established; and with humans, invariably, come pets. At some point a pregnant cat, brought over from the mainland, escaped and roamed wild. The island’s wrens, unused to facing such a skillful predator, were no match for the feral cats that spread throughout the island. Within a year, the Stephens Island wren was extinct. It would take another 30 years to eradicate the feral cats.

This is not an isolated incident. Cats have contributed to species decline and habitat reduction in dozens of other cases. Because they’re so cute and beloved, we have little conception of — and little incentive to find out — how much damage cats are doing to our environment. When researcher Scott Loss tallied up the number of animals killed by North American housecats in a single year, the results were absolutely staggering: between 6.3 and 22.3 billion mammals, between 1.3 and 4 billion birds, between 95 and 299 million amphibians, and between 258 and 822 million reptiles.

¤

It is undeniable, then, that cats are a menace to animal society, particularly those cats that are allowed to roam free outdoors. We have known this for almost a century. In 1929, the ornithologist Edward Howe Forbush commented that “the widespread dissemination of cats in the woods and in the open or farming country, and the destruction of birds by them, is a much more important matter than most people suspect, and is not to be lightly put aside, as it has an important bearing on the welfare of the human race.” Forbush, having tallied up an impressive anecdotal record of death and destruction, concluded that the cat “has disturbed the biological balance and has become a destructive force among native birds and mammals.” The cat doesn’t much care if its prey is threatened with extinction. Any small mammal, bird, or reptile is fair game, regardless of its rarity.

In one of Cat Wars’s more enlightening analogies, Marra and Santella compare housecats to the pesticide DDT. The cat, they argue, is one of the earliest known invasive species, and invasive species, they argue, are “simply another form of an environmental contaminant; like DDT, they can cause great harm and, once introduced, can be exceptionally difficult to remove from the environment.” Both started out as human technologies used to rid the landscape of unwanted pests, and both came with unintended side effects and unwanted additional destruction in the wild. Given the amount of energy we have devoted to banning DDT and ridding the environment of its consequences, it’s noteworthy that we seem so uninterested in a similar remedy for the scourge of cats, which, by most metrics, are far more destructive. The authors note that, while cats have been implicated in the decline and extinction of some 175 different species, “there are no confirmed bird extinctions from the pesticide DDT.”

The news that housecats are laying waste to wide swaths of biodiversity has not, like revelations about climate change or other ecological evils, led to some kind of scientific consensus about what was to be done. It’s led, instead, to the establishment of two warring camps: the cat people and the bird people. The bird people think that the wholesale slaughter of the world’s bird population is a problem requiring human intervention, namely the banning of feral and outdoor cats, forced sterilization, and euthanization. The cat people are aghast at these solutions, and argue instead that cats, being innate predators, should be allowed to fulfill their natural directive. When University of Wisconsin professor Stanley Temple published a report noting the high number of birds being killed by cats, he was besieged with death threats. “Many Wisconsites (at least those who wrote letters to the editor and hate mail to Temple),” Marra and Santella write, “were much more concerned that cats were being blamed for songbird deaths than with the fact that millions of songbirds were being killed. And some were more troubled about the possibility of cats being killed than they were about the life of a researcher.”

In the ensuing stalemate, legislation has been halfheartedly introduced, allowed to languish in committee, and finally scuttled altogether. Half-measures have been introduced that do no good. Invective has been hurled from both sides with increasing ferocity. And, meanwhile, cats continue to kill all manner of creature of field and stream.

¤

Cat Wars raises an interesting ethical question: is it justifiable to kill one animal because that animal kills other animals in disproportionate numbers? The authors cite Bill Lynn, an ethicist who has supported the culling of one species as a means to protect another, calling such work a “sad good.” But Marc Bekoff, an evolutionary biologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, contends the opposite: that the life of each individual animal must be weighed separate from a concern for species and for diversity. This kind of dilemma — is it morally acceptable to sacrifice the one to save the many, or the many for the one? — has long vexed philosophers of human ethics, and it is fascinating to see it here played out with regards to interspecies warfare.

Rather than explore this difficulty further, though, Cat Wars remains mostly about the war between cat people and bird people. Marra and Santella are clearly bird people. (Marra, after all, is the head of the Smithsonian’s migratory bird center.) The pro-bird, anti-cat thrust of their book is not subtle. “Allowing owned cats to roam freely outside,” they write, is an example of “irresponsible pet ownership,” a message they drive home with increasing emphasis. (Full disclosure: I don’t have a dog in this fight. I’m a dog person.)
Cat Wars is one of those strange books, reading which one can feel generally comfortable with the authors’ conclusions while growing increasingly frustrated with their bad faith arguments, rhetorical sleights-of-hand, and other abuses of the reader’s trust. A chapter that focuses on cats as disease vectors is the worst offender. They point out, correctly, that housecats can be carriers of bubonic plague (an Arizona man died in 1992 after catching plague from a cat) as well as rabies, and that Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found in cat feces, has been linked to behavioral changes in humans. It’s true, of course, that cats can transmit plague and other diseases, but this trait is not unique to them, nor are toxoplasma cysts restricted to outdoor cats. The haphazardness of these arguments makes the book seem indiscriminate in its anti-cat bias. Repeatedly, Marra and Santella offer rhetorically strong arguments that fall apart under scrutiny. They claim, for example, that “[w]ild birds and mammals […] have rights that do not seem to receive as much attention as the claimed rights of cats to wander freely outdoors.” It’s true that threatened and endangered species are protected under law, as are pets (mostly in the form of animal cruelty laws). But what can it mean to say that other, non-protected birds and mammals have “rights”? What kind of rights? Moral rights? Rights under some unstated but presumed “natural law”? Is this a call to extend legal protection to all American animals? Are all animals created equal? Does the equally invasive black rat lack rights that more charismatic native songbirds have?

Cat Wars also bends over backward to paint cat-owners, particularly those who advocate for outdoor lifestyles, as unstable and poorly educated. As Marra and Santella become increasingly polemical, they resort to refuting a straw-man “leading outdoor-cat advocate’s website” bullet-point-style:
CAT ADVOCATE CLAIMS: Cats have lived outdoors for more than 10,000 years — they are a natural part of the landscape

SCIENCE SAYS: Domestic cats are an invasive species throughout their current range, including North America

This … [more]
cats  colinedickey  2016  literature  petermarra  chrissantella  animals  environment  colonization  books  housecats  pets  multispecies  biodiversity  ethics  billlynn  marcbekoff  life  nature  birds  wildlife  invasivespecies  songbirds 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Dogs Remember More Than You Think : Shots - Health News : NPR
"You may not remember what you were doing a few minutes ago. But your dog probably does.

A study of 17 dogs found they could remember and imitate their owners' actions up to an hour later. The results, published Wednesday in Current Biology, suggest that dogs can remember and relive an experience much the way people do.

That's probably not a big surprise to people who own dogs, says Claudia Fugazza, an author of the study and an animal behavior researcher at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. Fugazza owns a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog named Velvet.

"Most dog owners at least suspected that dogs can remember events and past experiences," she says.

But demonstrating this ability has been tricky.

Fugazza and her colleagues thought they might be able to test dogs' memory of events using a training method she helped develop called "Do As I Do." It teaches dogs to observe an action performed by their owner, then imitate that action when they hear the command: "Do it."

In the study, a trained dog would first watch the owner perform some unfamiliar action. In one video the team made, a man strides over to an open umbrella on the floor and taps it with his hand as his dog watches.

Then the dog is led behind a partition that blocks a view of the umbrella. After a minute, the dog is led back out and lies on a mat. Finally, the owner issues the command to imitate: "Do it."

The dog responds by trotting over to the umbrella and tapping it with one paw.

In the study, dogs were consistently able to remember what their owners had done, sometimes up to an hour after the event.

The most likely explanation is that the dogs were doing something people do all the time, Fugazza says. They were remembering an event by mentally traveling back in time and reliving the experience.

Even so, the team stopped short of concluding that dogs have full-fledged episodic memory.

"Episodic memory is traditionally linked to self-awareness," Fugazza says, "and so far there is no evidence of self awareness in dogs and I think there is no method for testing it."

For a long time, scientists thought episodic memory was unique to people. But over the past decade or so, researchers have found evidence for episodic-like memory in a range of species, including birds, monkeys and rats.

Dogs have been a special challenge, though, says Victoria Templer, a behavioral neuroscientist at Providence College.

"They're so tuned into human cues, which can be a good thing," Templer says. "But it also can be a disadvantage and make it very difficult, because we might be cuing dogs when we're totally unaware of it."

The Budapest team did a good job ensuring that dogs were relying on their own memories without getting any unwitting guidance from their owners, says Templer, who wasn't involved in the study.

She says the finding should be useful to scientists who are trying to understand why episodic memory evolved in people. In other words, how has it helped us survive?

One possibility, Templer says, is that we evolved the ability to relive the past in order to imagine the future.

So when we're going to meet a new person, she says, we may use episodic memories of past encounters to predict how the next one might go.

"If I can imagine that I'm going to interact with some individual and that might be dangerous, I'm not going to want to interact with them," she says.

And that could help make sure the genes that allow episodic memories get passed along to the next generation."
dogs  animals  memory  pets  multispecies  2016  brain 
november 2016 by robertogreco
ドコノコ、はじまりました。[Dokonoko]
[via: "reminder that Dokonoko is a social network for animal pics & those are better than tweets also they sent a kerchief"
https://twitter.com/RealAvocadoFact/status/772534496373637122 ]
animals  pets  japan  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  dogs  cats  animalpics  photogrphy 
september 2016 by robertogreco
The first contemporary art exhibition for dogs - YouTube
"MORE THAN has commissioned a unique art exhibition for dogs which renowned British artist and inventor Dominic Wilcox has created for us. Wilcox’s interactive exhibits include ‘Cruising Canines’ - an open car window simulator, ‘Dinnertime Dreams’ - an oversized 10 foot dog bowl filled to the brim with hundreds of play balls to look like dog food, and ‘Watery Wonder’ - a series of dancing water jets that jump from one dog bowl to the next for dogs to chase. A selection of paintings and drawings created in a dog’s colour spectrum are also on display at the exhibition for the visiting dogs to enjoy.

The exhibition has been created as part of our #PlayMore campaign where we want to encourage owners to spend more time playing with their pet, while also inspiring them to find new ways to ensure they stay emotionally happy and physically healthy. What’s more if you take the #PlayMore Pledge to spend 15 minutes more a day with your pet and we’ll donate £1 to the RSPCA – find out more at http://www.morethan.com/pet-insurance/news/play-more/pledge "

[via: https://twitter.com/netanimals/status/769826958800777216
http://networkedanimals.tumblr.com/post/149594716750/interactive-more-than-art-exhibition-for-dogs-in ]
art  dogs  animals  multispecies  2016  pets 
august 2016 by robertogreco
When my dog died, I didn’t understand why it felt like a human had died. Then I read the research. - Vox
"The reason it felt like a human died is because, in so many ways, dogs are like us. They spend much of their life caring for us, and letting us care for them. Their life arc is our life arc, from suburb to city, from hardship to bliss. I didn’t know how to say goodbye. But in the moment, there was only one thing I actually wanted to say to Rainbow, my white dog: Thank you."
pets  dogs  multispecies  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations  animals  2016  alvinvhang  history  evolution  psychology  companions  companionship 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Skyrim Player Composes Eye-Watering Saga on His Harrowing Quest to Adopt a Virtual Dog - Cheezburger
"Shoutout to Patrick Lenton for putting together this unexpected, drama-soaked saga. The tale vividly portrays the trying loops any player will jump through to adopt a virtual dog in Skyrim. It's gold, and painfully accurate."

[Twitter thread begins here: https://twitter.com/PatrickLenton/status/717163582115307521 ]
pets  animals  dogs  patricklenton  videogames  games  gaming  multispecies  emotions  via:tealtan  skyrim  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Art of a Dog - From the Current - The Criterion Collection
"Consider the story of Lolabelle, the rat terrier cast by Laurie Anderson—her human companion—in Anderson’s stirring, tender film Heart of a Dog. In extraordinary footage, Anderson reveals her four-legged friend’s remarkable ability to both appreciate and create richly textured musical scores. As we witness Lolabelle’s aptitude for piano—her command of the keyboard, her innate sense of rhythm and her strategic deployment of the pause—we behold the creative potential in every pooch. For Anderson and her fellow artists, dogs represent a vast, untapped audience for creative endeavors.

Anderson is a pioneer in the emerging field of creativity for canines. She has cannily identified a massive wet-nosed population of potential art enthusiasts: dogs live in 44 percent of U.S. homes, which means that there are upwards of 50 million pooches hungry for culture. In 2010, Anderson performed her first dog concert, with several hundred pups in attendance, on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. Anderson has staged several such performances since, including one early this year in New York’s Times Square, conducted in honor of Heart of a Dog. Despite the January evening’s arctic temperature, the canine community was out in force. Dogs clad in sweaters and puffer coats gathered around Anderson as she delivered a violin concert in haunting frequencies that both the canines and their humans enjoyed. In a rousing finale, Anderson called for the dogs to lift their voices in a chorus of barks: From the tiniest Pom to the most formidable Bernese, the assembled spectators created their own sweet music.

It was a remarkable evening, the kind that renews an art lover’s faith in creativity and connection. And it prompted the sort of uncomplicated joy that the art world desperately needs right now.

In these early decades of the twenty-first century, you might imagine that art aficionados would be ecstatic. After all, we are in contact with more creativity than ever: there are art fairs opening every other week on every continent; biennials, triennials, and quinquennials occurring the globe over; images of artworks streaming across our Instagram and Facebook feeds.

And yet, something vital is missing. Somewhere in the incessant flow of pictures we’ve lost the spark that great art gives us—the aha! that shifts our vision, expands our worldview, and enlivens our senses. The profound experiences we crave remain out of reach.

But what to do?

Turns out that one answer is right under our noses—it’s in our lap right now, napping. Our beloved pooches, the ones who protect and obey us and vibrate with excitement when they see us, can liberate us from our suffering.

I can attest to this myself, as my own gallery-going experience has been transformed by Rocky, a spirited Morkie whom I met several years ago in a SoHo shelter. To my surprise, Rocky panted with pleasure each time I suggested a Chelsea gallery crawl, even as I remained wary of the dealers’ overhyped wares. I wondered: What was Rocky’s secret? As we spent more and more time together, it became clear that Rocky had something to teach me—to teach all of us—about finding joy in today’s art world. Among his many skills, I noticed a singular capacity to remain in the moment and to see each artwork with fresh eyes.

Rocky’s fearlessness, his capacity to remain curious, and, most importantly, his indifference to the pronouncements of New York Times reviews, were the inspiration for a talk I gave in February to a group of art world insiders gathered in a gallery in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. The lecture, titled Five Things My Dog Taught Me About Art, not only considered the dog’s capacity to teach us about human ingenuity but also served as the launch event for a radical new exhibition I’m organizing called dOGUMENTA. The premise of dOGUMENTA is this: If canines like Rocky and Lolabelle can teach us so much about human creativity, what if they had a show of their own? How would artists respond to this massive new audience?

Now in development, dOGUMENTA (I) NYC will be the world’s first exhibition of art for dogs. It’s a labor of love, dedicated to my beloved Rocky and canine companions the world over. This will be a show not of or by dogs, but for them. It offers an unprecedented opportunity for the creative community to engage with an entirely new species of art lover, and to consider its concerns, interests, and worldview. Anderson’s explorations in Heart of a Dog and her performances are the first dispatches from the vanguard. I am eager to see how other artists will respond to this mandate.

It’s safe to say that dOGUMENTA is a revolutionary step forward for human creativity, and it is long overdue. After all that dogs have given us, isn’t it time we gave something back?"
dogs  film  animals  pets  jessicabarrowdawson  multispecies  via:anne  laurieanderson  companions  perspective  audience  dogumenta  art  music 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Office dog | Mapbox
"We’re looking for an office dog who loves to cuddle and accept back rubs to join the Mapbox team. You’ll be joining a seasoned team of Mapbox dogs that are excited to smell you. You’ll help us start every day by happily jogging towards us as we enter the office.

You should have some experience in laying in the sun. We’ll help you get accustomed to the office by providing you with treats and walks around the neighborhood.

This role is based in either our Washington, DC. or San Francisco office.

Qualities we’re looking for

• Exercises loyalty. You’ll visit the office at least once a week and get excited when it’s a three dog day at Mapbox.

• Knows when to use a barking voice. You’ll bark if someone is at the door and know that one bark is enough.

• Exhibits compassion. You know the team works hard and cannot pet you all day long, so you’ll jump into a lap or curl around our feet.

To apply

Please have your human apply for a position at Mapbox. We have a variety of positions from sales and business to engineering and support. We’d love to hear how your human can help us build the future of mapping.

(And once your human joins the team, we’ll automatically accept your application!)"
animals  pets  multispecies  companions  dogs  mapbox  via:vruba  2016  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations 
february 2016 by robertogreco
I Met A Dog On The Internet And I Am Not Ashamed About It - Tom Cox
"Billy and I were sitting outside a pub on the north eastern edge of Dartmoor, inhaling a much-needed pint when the septuagenarian lady in the Barbour jacket approached us. Well, I was inhaling a much-needed pint; Billy, who is a miniature-toy poodle cross, was inhaling some much needed water from a margarine tub beneath the table with “DOG ALE” scrawled on it in black marker pen. Billy had a considerable portion of the moor stuck to his flanks, but that didn’t bother the lady in the Barbour jacket - she was straight in there to give them a good rub.

“Oh, isn’t he delightful!” she said. “Is he a puppy?”

“No, he’s actually two now,” I replied. “He’s got bags of energy. We’ve just walked twelve miles and he still wants more.”

Billy was looking up at her grinning now: a different dog to the one who, three quarters of an hour earlier, I'd had to perform a near rugby tackle on in order to stop him chasing approximately seventy eight sheep into the River Bovey.

“Well, you’re very lucky to have him.”

“Oh, he’s not actually mine.”

“Oh, really?” she suddenly seemed nervous. I could see her eyeing my flared trousers, Hall & Oates t-shirt and longish hair and re-evaluating the situation. This isn’t a wholesome rambler, after all; this is the infamous Disco Dancing Small Poodle Thief Of North Bovey. “Does he... belong to a friend?”

“Well, sort of.” I took a slight breath, although perhaps not as deep as the one I might have taken before saying the same thing a month or two ago. “We initially met... online.”

It’s taken a while for me to be comfortable in admitting I met my part-time dog on the Internet, but I’m okay with it now, and so is my dog. Of course, others might have a problem with it, but in the end, it’s their problem, not ours. Way back in the previous decade I borrowed dogs from people I met in real life. There was Nouster, a proud birthday card border collie who lived with my landlord and who I’d walk around the broads near my house in Norfolk. Then there was Henry, my friend Hannah’s cocker spaniel, who liked to roll around in pheasant carcasses and steal chips. But that was a different era, and a different world. Since then, the lives of humans and dogs have become more virtual, and different ways to meet dogs have become more acceptable.

The spring before last, I moved to a completely new part of the country - Devon - but my initial attempts to meet dogs to borrow in the real world there proved unsuccessful. My ad in the village shop (see below) drew a blank. I could borrow a terrier belonging to a friend of a friend but he was only available on Wednesdays, needed to wear a muzzle if he was being walked in an area where there were lots of other dogs and would reportedly attack any cat he saw. A labrador belonging to a hairdresser in Exeterwas available for walks but when I had been to get my haircut there and said “Please can you take hardly anything off at all?” she’d misheard me and thought I’d said “Attack my hair like it’s a hedge in a sunny period in June immediately following heavy rainfall.” “Would borrowing her dog mean a long term commitment to looking like I worked in an insurance broker’s office in 1949?” I worried."

[continues]
dogs  animals  multispecies  internet  online  web  tomcox  pets  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Gopro Cinema | booktwo.org
"Because like everyone but the really good people I don’t blog enough anymore, here is an honest-to-god blog post about an idea that’s not really there yet, but I keep thinking about.

Three takes on non-human photography, on a spectrum"



"As wiser people have pointed out, human-animal relationships provide an interesting viewpoint on human-technological relationships. What happens when we free the camera from the eye, and thus from anthropocentrism?"
jamesbridle  gopro  cameras  animals  multispecies  aesthetics  pov  video  film  filmmaking  leviathan  newaesthetic  jacquestati  playtime  streetview  googlestreetview  photography  videography  cinematography  sweetgrass  sensoryethnographylab  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  pets  farms  luciencastaing-taylor  vérénaparavel 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Denali on Vimeo
"There's no easy way to say goodbye to a friend, especially when they've supported you through your darkest times.

Made possible by Patagonia
Generous support from: First Descents, Ruffwear and Snow Peak

In order of appearance: Ben Moon & Denali
Producer: Ben Moon // Moonhouse
Directed / edited / written: Ben Knight // Felt Soul Media
DP: Skip Armstrong // Wazee Motion Pictures
Second Camera: Page Stephenson
Co-Writer: Katie Klingsporn
Wet Camera: Justin Harris
Sound Recordist: Jim Hurst
Music Supervisor: Ben Knight and Chris Parker
Sound Mix: Justin Harris
Narrated by: Ben Knight

Music by: Chihei Hatakeyama, Images of a Broken Light — chihei.org
Music by: Odesza, It's Only [feat. Zyra] In Return, odesza.com, courtesy of Counter Records 2014

Still Photographs by: Ben Moon, Lisa Hensel, Carli Davidson, Miranda Moon, Vivian Moon, Jean Redle Dawn Kish, Lisa Skaff, Pete Rudge, Kristen & Ian Yurdin, and John Sterling"
animals  pets  dogs  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  2015  benmoon  companionship  death  multispecies 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Why Dogs Look Like Their Owners | Co.Design | business + design
"The similarity is—well, pick whatever description you're most comfortable with, but it's certainly evident. And it's evidence-backed, too. In several studies over the past decade, behavioral scientists have found that some people look so much like their pets that outside observers can match them based on pictures alone. The above image, for instance, comes from a 2005 study in which test participants identified owner-pet pairs at a success rate far greater than what you'd get with random guessing. The effect has held in the United States, South America, and Japan, suggesting it just might be universal.

So the resemblance truly exists, according to science. The question then becomes why. Humans do occasionally keep their young ones on leashes, but they don't actually give birth to pets—or the Internet would surely know about it—so it's safe to say the similarities aren't genetic. It's possible that people and pets somehow grow to look like one another over time, though how exactly that would occur is a bit of a mystery—short of a person telling a barber to give them the Bichon Frise.

Far more likely is that some people, either intentionally or subconsciously, choose a dog that resembles them, says social psychologist Nicholas Christenfeld of the University of California-San Diego. "I've certainly heard stories of people coming to resemble their pets," he tells Co.Design. "It's not really clear what the mechanism for that would be. I guess you could both exercise together—both catch Frisbees in your mouth, or something. But really coming to look like your dog would pretty much have to be you changing your appearance to resemble the dog, rather than the other way around. So it's not entirely crazy. But picking a dog that looks like you seems more plausible.""



"Christenfeld suspects evolution might have something to do with it. The impulse to care for a child is enormously adaptive in the eyes of natural selection, and one way a child might trigger this caretaking desire—aside from the whole emerging from the womb thing—is by looking like a parent. So when a person sees a "little, helpless, non-verbal creature that looks like them" in the form of a pet, Christenfeld says, some of those same basic nurturing instincts could spring into action.

"The feeling people have about their children is often very similar to the feeling people have about their pets," he says. "Lots of couples will use pets as a sort of practice trial for kids. And when kids go away to college, they're often replaced by pets. They come back for spring break and it's, 'Sorry, you have to sleep in the garage. Fluffy has your room now.'""
animals  pets  dogs  multispecies  ucsd  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  nicholaschristenfeld  michaelroy  2015 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Dog-eyed view: the camera that takes a photo whenever your dog gets excited - video | World news | The Guardian
"A new gadget has been developed that straps a camera to your dog's chest, monitors its heart rate and takes a picture whenever it's excited. The product comprises the camera, a specially designed camera case, and a heart-rate monitor strap that communicates with the case via Bluetooth to cause the shutter to trigger when the dog's heartbeat increases"

[http://heartography.nikon-asia.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a6fd-wvIdw ]
pets  cameras  dogs  quantifiedpet  2015  nikon  photography  animals  multispecies  heartography 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Final Boss Form — gifsboom: Strong cat. [video] The lessons we...
"Strong cat. [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxFPG6Gcx2w]"

"The lessons we are taught about the entire animal kingdom supposedly being “every animal for themselves” is so incredibly, comically wrong. I always wondered who these narratives actually serve."
cats  multispecies  animals  pets  survivalofthefittest  socialdarwinism  individualism  kenyattacheese 
april 2015 by robertogreco
What is it About Animals? |
"We know that animals play important roles in our social, cultural and political lives, as loved ones, friends and companions, workers, ‘livestock’, ‘products’ and ‘commodities’. For instance, in Australia, 63 percent of households include a companion animal, many people living with companion animals consider them to be “family members” (estimates vary between 75-90 percent), and the pet animal industry contributes approximately AUD$4.74 billion annually to the economy (Australian Companion Animal Council, nd).

The bond between many humans and their animal companions is often very strong, invoking emotions of attachment and pleasure. Human–companion animal relationships may allow people to experience themselves and their lives in significantly different ways; ways that are very positive. Humans who describe themselves as ‘animal lovers’ usually see their pets as valued family members, whether (or not) these animals are substitute children, friends, protectors, and/or sources of companionship and affection. Also, plenty of people feel affection or even love towards animals they do not keep as companions or pets, such as native birds that visit them or injured wildlife that they help to care for until they are ready to be released into their habitat.

In this study we want to know how you experience animals you consider important; how you describe and feel about these relationships. We are keen to dig beneath the stereotypes to examine the perceptions of, and meanings attributed to, the relationships ‘animal lovers’ have with their companion animals or any other animals they feel affection towards. That is why we inviting participants to use a range of mediums or formats (e.g. photos, stories, videos, poems, paintings, drawings) to represent their human-animal relationships. Feel free to be creative and have fun."
via:anne  animals  multispecies  pets  niktaylor  heatherfraser  affection  wildlife  companionship  relationship  livestock  friendship  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The Guilty Looking Companion | Dog Spies, Scientific American Blog Network
"Live with a dog, and you’ve probably met the “guilty look.” It all happens so fast — you come home, the plants are knocked over, soil is tracked all over the floor, and there’s the dog, frozen, averting gaze, and tail thumping. Whip out your phone to record the behavioral evidence for YouTube, and bam, you’ll not only get millions of views, but you can even be invited on ABC’s Good Morning America. All hail the dog’s “guilty look.”

But there’s a problem. Research to date, including a new, open-access study published earlier this year, has not found that a dog’s “guilty look” necessarily corresponds with dog’s knowledge of a misdeed. Additionally, scolding or punishing a dog in an attempt to tell them that what they did is wrong will not necessarily lead to a decrease of that “bad” behavior in the future. This is because a dog’s supposed “guilty look” does not have the same meaning that it has for humans.

Which shouldn’t really surprise anyone. Any dog lover who has watched a dog hold her nose centimeters from a lamp post or another dog’s bum knows that the dog worldview differs from ours. When researchers create experiments to better understand dogs’ conceptual frameworks, we often find that although their behaviors might seemingly be on par with our own, their cognitive framework or understanding of a situation might differ. This in no way minimizes our special relationship or their standing as our “best friend.” It just means that the modern dog, even after thousands of years of domestication, is still better understood as a dog, a member of Canis familiaris, than as a human in dog fur.

Enter today’s star, the beloved “guilty look.”

In humans, a guilty look tips you off that someone knows not only that they have done something wrong, but also how they feel about it (badly). Guilt can be exceedingly useful for social beings like us because admitting you did something wrong is a step toward repairing a relationship, effectively minimizing the impact of your misdeed. Appeasement and reconciliation are also part of the package, and someone who ate the last of the chocolate ice cream and then left the empty container in the freezer may avert their gaze and even slightly constrict their posture. Hopefully, the person who kicked the ice cream will also engage in reparative behavior and buy more.

Then, there’s your dog.

“I behave in a particular way when I feel guilty; my dog behaves in a similar way in equivalent circumstances; I know intuitively that my behaviour is motivated by guilt; therefore the behaviour I see in my dog is also accompanied by feelings of guilt” (Bradshaw and Casey, 2007, p. 151)

For some, this is an open and shut case. You ate the ice cream. The dog peed on the floor. You look and act guilty. So does the dog. Both are equally guilty. Case closed. Owners asked to describe a dog’s “guilty look” comment that dogs tend to become smaller and essentially assume a non-threatening pose. Some dogs avert their gaze or freeze. Sometimes there is a quick or slow thump-thumping of the tail. Others lift a paw. Some approach the owner with low posture. Others retreat to hide under the bed or simply to increase distance.

Animal behavior researchers classically refer to behaviors like these as elements of submission or fear. These cohesive displays are employed by social species, like dogs and their wild-type progenitor the wolf, to reduce conflict, diffuse tension, and reinforce social bonds. Many dog owners, by contrast, observe these behaviors as clear-cut evidence of guilt, a dog’s knowledge that he did something wrong. Researchers have tried to assess this claim.

In 2009, Alexandra Horowitz of Barnard College (and author of “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know”) published a study in Behavioural Processes exploring what precedes the “guilty look.” By varying both the dog’s behavior (either eating or not eating a disallowed treat) and the owner’s behavior (either scolding or not scolding), Horowitz was able to isolate what the dog’s “guilty look” was associated with. She found that the guilty look did not appear more when the dogs had done something wrong. Instead, the “guilty look” popped out in full form when the owner scolded the dog. In fact, Horowitz also found that when scolded, the most exaggerated guilt look was performed by dogs who had not eaten the treat but were scolded anyway because the owner thought the dog had eaten it. In a multi-dog household, a dog could easily look guilty without ever having transgressed.

“But wait!” cries the peanut gallery. “It can’t only be about scolding.” The claim is as follows: you come home only to be greeted by your beloved dog, this time, with low posture, ears back, squinty eyes, lip licking and a tail wagging low and quick. Or maybe the dog is under the bed and won’t budge. You enter the kitchen and find that the dog has done a lovely job rearranging the trash all over the floor. Not your design of choice, but you can see what he was getting at. In this context, owners claim dogs show the “guilty look” prior to an owner discovering the misdeed. This, they claim, indicates that dogs know they have done something wrong because the owner is not scolding yet.

In 2010, I investigated this scenario while conducting research with the Family Dog Project in Budapest. In the experiment, published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science in 2012, dogs had the opportunity to break a rule (that food on a table is for humans and not dogs) while the owner was out of the room. When the owner returned, but before they saw whether the dog ate the food, the dogs who ate were not more likely to look guilty than those who did not eat. We also wondered whether owners would be better able to recognize their dog’s transgression in their behavior than a researcher simply coding for the presence of the commonly assigned “look.” Owners who had previously witnessed their dog attending to the rule were not able to identify whether or not their dog had transgressed in their absence. The study did not find that owners could identify a “guilty dog” without scolding.

To date, researchers have not found direct support for the claim that dogs look “guilty” in the absence of concurrent scolding, but this doesn’t necessarily mean nothing’s going on. In her book “For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend,” Patricia McConnell, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison comments on what numerous clients have said: “So often people think their dog ‘knows’ she shouldn’t potty in the house because she greets them at the door looking ‘guilty,’ with her head and tail down, her eyes all squinty and submissive” (p. 17).

In the late 1970s, a veterinarian received a call from a client. The client’s dog, Nicki, apparently took to shredding paper in the owner’s absence. Spite, the owner assumed, was behind the behavior. Together, the veterinarian and the owner explored the claim by having the owner shred the paper, leave the house, and then return home. Since Nicki had not performed the misdeed this time, she should not look guilty if the “guilty look” is associated with a knowledge of one’s own transgression. If she did look “guilty” it could instead suggest that — as many other studies find — dogs are incredibly sensitive to environmental and social cues, and paper on the floor could be an indication of potential scolding to come. As you might imagine, it was the latter. When the owner returned, Nicki looked “guilty” even though she did nothing wrong. McConnell continues, “All that crouching and groveling is a white flag to avoid her owner’s wrath, not a sign she’s aware she’s broken some moral code of dog/human relationships.”

“Evidence + Owner = Trouble” explains primatologist Frans de Waal, in “Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals.” As a social species aiming to maintain relationships, dogs could show submissive displays prior to an owner scolding without the behavior indicating an apology or admittance of guilt as you might find with humans. Instead, these displays can aim to appease or pacify. In a questionnaire with study participants, I found that nearly 60% of owners surveyed reported that the dog’s “guilty look” led them to scold their dog less. What owners call “guilty” behavior could, in theory, serve an appeasement function in this context.

Ljerka Ostojić and Nicola Clayton of the University of Cambridge, and Mladenka Tkalčić of the University of Rijeka investigated whether a dog’s guilty look could be triggered by environmental cues. Earlier this year, they published an open-access study in Behavioural Processes investigating “whether the dogs’ own actions or the evidence of a misdeed might serve as triggering cues” for the guilty look in the absence of a scolding owner. By using a manipulation somewhat similar to that of Horowitz, Ostojić and colleagues found that the “guilty look” was not affected by dog’s own behavior (either eating or not eating the food), or whether the food was present or absent.

As researchers tend to do, Ostojić and I recently pondered the future of the “guilty look” in a Skype conversation. She highlights that it would be useful to investigate the behavior “in the exact situation in which owners claim that it appears. It also might be useful to look into what happens individually with each dog, and in this case, the stimulus would be specific to each dog.” Researchers could investigate how dog personality traits and life experiences affect the presentation of the “guilty look,” and Ostojić also wondered whether future studies should remove the experimenter or bystander from the scenario to better mimic real-world claims.

You may wonder why many people such as myself harp on this topic … [more]
dogs  pets  multispecies  animals  juliehecht  2015  psychology  guilt  social  anthropomorphism 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Dogs vs. drones: the war begins | Fusion
"Small camera-equipped drones are poised to revolutionize all kinds of industries in the next few years. More importantly, they’re going to revolutionize the way we mess with our pets.

Like the Roomba, the quadcopter drone is deeply polarizing among dogs. Some dogs see drones as terrifying killer robots, while others (like mine) just view them as strange new toys to be chased around the yard. But one thing is clear: this will end in war.

Here are 13 of the best dog vs. drone battles of all-time."
pets  animals  dogs  quadcopters  drones  droneproject  kevinroose  2015 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The Trouble With Truffles | Here & Now
"Truffle season in forests across the Pacific Northwest is coming to a close. The fungus is prized by restaurants and can sell for 400 dollars a pound or more. But, this year, despite their protests, truffle hunters in Oregon were shut out of some of their favorite foraging spots. Amelia Templeton, from Here & Now contributor Oregon Public Broadcasting reports."

[See also:
http://www.eater.com/2015/2/6/7993099/truffle-hunt-oregon-dogs-italy
http://www.eater.com/2014/12/17/7402073/white-truffles-Italy-emilia-romagna ]
truffles  oregon  food  dogs  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations  multispecies  2015  italy  animals  pets 
april 2015 by robertogreco
In Brooklyn, gentrification wipes out pigeons and chickens to make room for cats and dogs | Money | The Guardian
"Gentrification of inner-city neighborhoods into pseudo-suburbs have created a line between the haves and the have-nots"

[See also: http://gothamist.com/2015/03/21/photos_lamb.php ]
brooklyn  animals  cats  dogs  chickens  pigeons  birds  2014  pets  nyc 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Lamb Spotted Lunching with Diners at Greenpoint Restaurant - Greenpoint - DNAinfo.com New York
"Hopefully they didn't order the lamb.

A man and woman were spotted by a local resident bringing a lamb to lunch at Greenpoint restaurant Five Leaves Tuesday afternoon.

Animals technically aren't allowed inside the popular eatery, but the diners kept the baby sheep outside on their laps, said Five Leaves employee Peter Demos.

People sometimes bring in their dogs, but it's the first time Demo has seen something like this at the 18 Bedford Ave. restaurant, he said.

Other diners "ooed" and "awed" at the little guy, which didn't make noise and didn't eat, Demos explained.

"They were like, 'Wow it's a lamb'," he said. "It was like a baby."

The customer who brought the lamb with him used to be a regular at the restaurant, but he hadn't come in for a long time and had never brought a lamb with him before, Demos said.

Greenpoint resident Nick Ramsey, 34, tweeted a photo of the furry fella when he spotted it on the way to work on Tuesday. His first thought was, "Doesn't this restaurant also serve lamb?"

The eatery does dish up a lamb pho dip sandwich, which features roasted lamb leg, rillettes, pickled jicama and an orange-anise consomme dip, but it was unclear if the man ordered the item, according to Demos.

"Just, also, 'why do you have a lamb?'" asked Ramsey, who noted that this type of sighting didn't surprise him in Brooklyn.

He and other locals joked about the possibility of eating the creature, though his friends and co-workers later pointed out that perhaps it was being used for knitting.

"Maybe there’s an artisanal yarn movement that I’m not aware of," Ramsey said.

It's not unheard of for New Yorkers to bring unusual animals to restaurants. A goat was spotted with a couple at Famous Famiglia restaurant in Midtown in 2012, munching on a spinach slice.

Still, Demos wasn't that impressed with the lamb.

"I was just like, 'It's a lamb.' I don't really care," he said. "Someone in Brooklyn has this f----ng thing they're doing.""
sheep  lambs  animals  pets  brooklyn  2015  greenpoint  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations  multispecies 
march 2015 by robertogreco
‘Goodbye to Language’ is Jean-Luc Godard in 3-D. ’Nuff said. - Movies - The Boston Globe
"Yes, there are people here. A few black-suited German security forces dash through the early scenes (the director is of the opinion that we lost World War II — we were fighting fascism, remember?) and we get shards of an adulterous romance between a quintessential Godardian couple, a woman who’s anchored in reality and a man who keeps disappearing up the hindquarters of his own intellect. (See 1965’s “Pierrot Le Fou” — a movie that’s in this writer’s personal Top Five — for the purest treatment of the theme.) Godard films them often nude, often cropped from the neck down, upstaged by vases and other foreground bric-a-brac. You almost can’t hear the characters for all the visual noise, which is at least partly the point.

The main character of “Goodbye to Language,” though, is a dog: a soulful black-and-tan mixed breed named Roxy Miéville that belongs to the director and his longtime partner, filmmaker Anne-Marie Miéville. Godard films the animal with rough iPhone-level camerawork, trailing Roxy through lakefronts and rivers, urban wastelands, forests of lush, Rousseau-ian greenery. For a film obsessed with language, these scenes are an island of respite, honoring the simple dogness of being. “What is outside can be known only via an animal’s gaze,” says Godard, quoting Rainer Maria Rilke.

“Goodbye to Language” is a film of dualities, then — the yin/yang of male and female, of nature (all that is real) and metaphor (everything we use to refer to reality: words, images, the cinema), of dog and human, of idealism and earthiness, of the left and right eyes we use to order perception into graspable shape."

[trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibffxoK5gs0 ]
jeanluc-goddard  2015  dogs  film  towatch  animals  pov  perspective  3d  goness  rainermariarilke  pets  human-animalrelations  multispecies  language  communcation  human-animalrelationships 
march 2015 by robertogreco
White God - Official Trailer - YouTube
"Winner of Cannes Film Festival's Prize Un Certain Regard Award and official selection of Sundance Film Festival, White God premieres in theatres March 27th, 2015.

Kornel Mundruczo’s newest film is a story of the indignities visited upon animals by their supposed “human superiors,” but it’s also an brutal, beautiful metaphor for the political and cultural tensions sweeping contemporary Europe. When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen, because it's mixed-breed heritage is deemed 'unfit' by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. At the same time, all the unwanted, unloved and so-called 'unfit' dogs rise up under a new leader, Hagen, the one-time housepet who has learned all too well from his 'Masters' in his journey through the streets and animal control centers how to bite the hands that beats him …"

[See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_God
http://www.magpictures.com/whitegod/
http://whitegodfilm.com/

Sundance clip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ox2BiuaiBqo ]
dogs  film  animals  pets  human-animalrelations  mutts  towatch  via:anne  whitegod  multispecies  hungary  edg  srg  glvo  human-animalrelationships  kornélmundruczó 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Japan's Robot Dogs Get Funerals as Sony Looks Away
[See also: “http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/12/mourn-robotic-dog-human-sony”
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/12/mourn-robotic-dog-human-sony

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/sony-aibo-robot-dog-funeral-in-japan/
http://www.popsci.com/worlds-saddest-funeral-robot-dogs-held-japan
http://toyland.gizmodo.com/japan-is-holding-actual-funerals-for-sonys-robotic-aibo-1688175542
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2968691/Funerals-held-ROBOTIC-dogs-Japan-owners-believe-souls.html ]

"In 1999, Sony launched a robot dog named Aibo in the U.S. and Japan that not only responded to external stimuli, but was able to learn and express itself. These capabilities, a press release from the time explained, “allow each unit to develop a unique personality including behavior shaped by the praise and scolding of its owner.” And Aibo, short for “Artificially Intelligent Robot,” quickly became a hit--especially in Japan.

At around $600 to $2,000 a pup, each iteration of Aibo cost less than some real dogs. And the perks didn’t end there. “When I leave on holiday I can just turn him off, I don’t need to feed him,” Hideko Mori, a robot dog owner of eight years, told AFP. “He doesn’t need taking out, well, not exactly. From time to time he cocks his leg and there’s this noise like water running. It’s a beautiful noise.”

Mori purchased the pooch after the death of her husband and, like many other Aibo owners, became attached to her unique cyborg companion.

“I can’t imagine how quiet our living room would have been if Ai-chan wasn’t here,” Sumie Maekawa, a longtime Aibo owner, told The Wall Street Journal, using an honorific suffix applied to girls’ names.

Tatsuo Matsui, who owns two digital dogs with his wife, added, “I can’t risk my precious dogs because they are important members of our family.”

Despite the loyal fanbase, Sony decided to discontinue the bot in 2006, after selling around 150,000 units.

"Our core businesses are electronics, games and entertainment, but the focus is going to be on profitability and strategic growth," a Sony spokeswoman said at the time. "In light of that, we've decided to cancel the Aibo line."

For years following the announcement, Sony would repair Aibos that experienced technical difficulties. But in July 2014, those repairs stopped and owners were left to look elsewhere for help.

“The first time I spoke directly to a client he told me, ‘He’s not very well, can you examine him?’” Hiroshi Funabashi, a robot dog repairman, told AFP. “I realized he didn’t see it as a robot, but as a member of his family whose life was more important than his own.”

The Sony stiff has led not only to the formation of support groups--where Aibo enthusiasts can share tips and help each other with repairs--but has fed the bionic pet vet industry.

“The people who have them feel their presence and personality,” Nobuyuki Narimatsu, director of A-Fun, a repair company for robot dogs, told AFP. “So we think that somehow, they really have souls.”

While concerted repair efforts have kept many an Aibo alive, a shortage of spare parts means that some of their lives have come to an end. The following images show the funerals of 19 Aibos that engineers at A-Fun were unable to save.

Each formerly automated animal is wearing a tag with its owner’s name, as well as where it is from.

Newsweek reached out to Sony about Aibo’s gradual extinction and those who are watching their not-so-furry friends vanish, but they declined to comment.

"It’s not at all unusual for people to develop strong emotional attachments to non-living objects or machines," says cyberpsychologist Eleanor Barlow, giving the common examples of naming a car, or a child becoming attached to a doll. "Research suggests this can happen in order to satisfy a need in us...to care for something to improve our own sense of well-being or by way of a child substitute."

As artificially intelligent machines are increasingly incorporated into our modern lives, Barlow forsees people substituting robot interfacing for human interaction. And when a machine resembles something living (like Aibo), people are likely to both form a stronger bond to it and feel a greater sense of loss when it vanishes, she added.

The funerals show that this notion is not so far-fetched."
aibo  dogs  japan  robots  pets  sony  2015  technology 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Elke Vogelsang's dog portraiture - Telegraph
[See also: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/27/elke-vogelsang_n_5042132.html

“Elke Vogelsang has taken dog portraits to a new level.

After buying a compact camera a few months ago, the photographer from Hildesheim, Germany, decided to use it to start a photo series, Nice Nosing You, in which she takes humorous photos of her three rescue dogs, Today reported.” ]

[See also: http://www.today.com/pets/so-nosy-dogs-get-their-close-charming-photo-series-2D79435237 and
http://wieselblitz.de/schnauuuze-nice-nosing-you/ ]
dogs  pets  via:anne  cameras  photography  elkevogelsang  animals 
march 2015 by robertogreco
More-Than-Human Lab.
"How monotonous our speaking becomes when we speak only to ourselves! And how insulting to the other beings...that no longer sense us talking to them, but only about them, as though they were not present in our world . . . For we walk about such entities only behind their backs, as though they were not participant in our lives. Yet if we no longer call out...then the numerous powers of this world will no longer address us – and if they still try, we will not likely hear them."

— David Abram, Becoming Animal



"What if we refuse to uncouple nature and culture? What if we deny that human beings are exceptional? What if we stop speaking and listening only to ourselves?

The More-Than-Human Lab combines creative research methods, science and technology studies, multispecies ethnography, and more-than-human geography to explore different ways of being in, with, and for the world.

Industry, electricity generation, agriculture, and transportation are the top sources of greenhouse gas emissions damaging the planet today. Every year people create between 20 and 50 metric tonnes of electronic waste, globally recycling less than 15% of it. With urban populations growing worldwide, habitat loss and climate change have cost the earth half its wildlife in the past 40 years, and another 20 million species of plants and animals are currently near extinction.

Researchers across disciplines refer to our current era as the Anthropocene—a period of unprecedented human influence on the planet. While technology and design have often improved people’s lives, they have also played significant roles in ecological change through a variety of unsustainable material choices and production techniques, as well as policies such as planned obsolescence and activities of over-consumption.

Albert Einstein said that “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” and now, more than ever, researchers need new ways of thinking, making and doing things with—not to—the nonhuman world.

Reimagining technology and design along these lines requires a fundamental shift from viewing the world as a resource to be exploited and manipulated to our own ends, to explicitly acknowledging the interconnectedness and interdependence of humans and more-than-humans: animals and plants; land, water and air; materials, processes and artefacts.

The More-Than-Human Lab addresses these concerns by dedicating itself to the development and assessment of new creative research methods and empirically-grounded theoretical models. We treat more-than-humans as active stakeholders and collaborators in design research, and we are committed to facilitating public engagement around technoscientific, environmental, primary industry, and government policy issues."
davidabram  conversation  listening  multispecies  animals  nature  pets  becominganimal  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations 
march 2015 by robertogreco
DOGO!
"Connecting friendly dogs with friendly people.

We work with local shelters to connect dog-loving people with people-loving dogs in need.

Enjoy the companionship of a sweet pup for whatever adventure you have planned that day, without the commitment of adoption.

Our Goals
To give shelter dogs fresh air and socialization.
To provide companionship without commitment.
To allow dogs exposure to potential adoptees.
To create a community for active animal lovers.

Get started by signing up below.
We offer an orientation through Family Dog Rescue.

Family Dog Rescue
Family Dog Rescue is devoted to pairing rescue dogs with people to create families. Their special mission is finding dogs who get along well with kids and adults. Many of these dogs are eager to get moving! They would love to join you for a walk, run, hike, beach or park day. You are able to get started after one 2 hour long orienation + one supervised walk.
www.norcalfamilydogrescue.org

255 Alabama Street
10am to 7pm everyday."
via:anne  pets  animals  dogs  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships 
february 2015 by robertogreco
In Japan, Dog Owners Feel Abandoned as Sony Stops Supporting ‘Aibo’ - WSJ
"Masters Run in Circles Seeking Help for Aged Robotic Pets; Failing Joints"
via:debcha  pets  robots  aibo  sony  japan  2015  dogs 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Learning From Animal Friendships - NYTimes.com
"Science has not entirely ignored unusual interactions between species. Biologists have described relationships formed to achieve a specific goal, like the cooperative hunting between groupers and moray eels. And in the mid-1900s, Konrad Lorenz and other ethologists demonstrated that during critical periods after birth, certain birds and other animals would follow the first moving object they saw, whether animal, human or machine, a phenomenon known as imprinting. Dr. Lorenz was famously photographed with a gaggle of “imprinted” geese trailing behind him.

Yet until recently, any suggestion that interspecies relationships might be based simply on companionship would probably have been met with derision, dismissed as Pixar-like anthropomorphism. That has changed as research has gradually eroded some boundaries between homo sapiens and other animals. Other species, it turns out, share abilities once considered exclusive to humans, including some emotions, tool use, counting, certain aspects of language and even a moral sense.

To be sure, some scientists remain skeptical that the examples of cross-species relations offer much more to science than a hefty dose of cuteness.

Clive Wynne, a professor of psychology at Arizona State University, said that the videos he has seen all portray interactions that take place “in a human-controlled environment.”

“To me, that’s what kind of removes what would otherwise be interesting,” he said. “Because it ceases to be directly a story about animal behavior and becomes a story about human impact on the environment, like the difference between gardening and the beauty of natural landscape.” But others see fertile ground for investigation even in bonds formed in captivity or other domesticated settings. “There are so many questions,” said Barbara Smuts, a primate researcher at the University of Michigan who in 1985 shocked some of her colleagues by applying the word “friendship” to describe bonds between female baboons. “We know this is happening between all sorts of species. I think eventually the scientific community will catch up.”

In the meantime, there is no shortage of stories about animals that have reached out across species barriers, some supplied by researchers like Dr. Smuts, who described watching her dog, Safi, an 80-pound German Shepherd mix, forge a friendship with a donkey named Wister on a ranch in Wyoming in the 1990s."



"It is probably no coincidence that many of the better-known animal pairings involve dogs, which have honed the art of cross-species communication through millenniums of having lived with humans. The dogs at the safari park, each housed with a cheetah, are adept at reading body language and take a dominant role with their feline companions — Donna J. Haraway, a professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the author of “When Species Meet,” suggested that the dogs function almost as “social psychologists.”

And sometimes that means figuring out how to speak the other species’ language.

When one dog, Clifford, had trouble persuading his feline companion, Majani, to play, he adopted a new tactic, Ms. Rose-Hinostroza said. Having learned from a trainer how to fake a limp, Clifford tried it out on the cheetah, looking much like a wounded gazelle. The disability, she said, proved irresistible to the cheetah, who came down off its perch to join the game.

But it is grooming, not playing, that cements a dog-cheetah friendship, Ms. Rose-Hinostroza said. Initially, the young cheetahs are terrified by the puppies’ attempts to play, but gradually the two animals begin to trust one another, and at some point, the cheetah begins to lick and groom the dog.

“When you see that happen, you go, ‘Yes, the cat actually likes the dog now,’ so that’s a good day,” she said.

Communing between species, researchers said, can inspire speculation not just about the animals but about the humans that are so fascinated by them.

Dr. Bekoff, for example, said that videos of interspecies interactions offer a way for people to connect with a natural world from which they feel increasingly detached.

“People are really craving to be ‘re-wilded,’ ” he said. “They’re craving to be reconnected to nature, and it’s these odd examples that are really seductive.”

Others see in the meeting of dog and doe, goat and rhino, tiger and bear, an ideal of peaceful connection that humans too often find elusive.

At Haller Park in Kenya — where Mzee, a 130-year-old tortoise, tends to Owen, an orphaned baby hippo — a man visiting the park with his child gazed at the unlikely couple and remarked, during a documentary about the pair, “If two very different creatures get along like this, then why cannot Iraqis and the British, Americans, Palestinians, the Israelis not get on?”

Or as Dr. Haraway, put it: “In a situation in which terrorism is cultivated from every angle and we are taught to fear practically everything, why should anybody be surprised that there’s a profound desire for the pleasures of the peaceable kingdom?”"
animals  friendship  2015  interspecies  multispecies  ericagoode  relationships  donnaharaway  dogs  pets  via:tealtan  marcbekoff  konradlorenz  barbarasmuts  anthropology  barbaraking  craigpacker  janetrose-hinostroza 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Black lab in Seattle likes to hop on bus, take solo ride to her dog park stop | CTV News
"A black Labrador named Eclipse just wants to get to the dog park. So if her owner takes too long finishing his cigarette, and their bus arrives, she climbs aboard solo and rides to her Seattle stop.

Young says his dog sometimes gets on the bus without him and he catches up with her at the dog park three or four stops away.

Bus riders report she watches out the window for her stop.

A Metro Transit spokesman says the agency loves that a dog appreciates public transit."
dogs  animals  pets  seattle  2015  publictransit 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Ai Weiwei is Living in Our Future — Medium
'Living under permanent surveillance and what that means for our freedom'



"Put a collar with a GPS chip around your dog’s neck and from that moment onwards you will be able to follow your dog on an online map and get a notification on your phone whenever your dog is outside a certain area. You want to take good care of your dog, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the collar also functions as a fitness tracker. Now you can set your dog goals and check out graphs with trend lines. It is as Bruce Sterling says: “You are Fluffy’s Zuckerberg”.

What we are doing to our pets, we are also doing to our children.

The ‘Amber Alert’, for example, is incredibly similar to the Pet Tracker. Its users are very happy: “It’s comforting to look at the app and know everyone is where they are supposed to be!” and “The ability to pull out my phone and instantly monitor my son’s location, takes child safety to a whole new level.” In case you were wondering, it is ‘School Ready’ with a silent mode for educational settings.

Then there is ‘The Canary Project’ which focuses on American teens with a driver’s license. If your child is calling somebody, texting or tweeting behind the wheel, you will be instantly notified. You will also get a notification if your child is speeding or is outside the agreed-on territory.

If your child is ignoring your calls and doesn’t reply to your texts, you can use the ‘Ignore no more’ app. It will lock your child’s phone until they call you back. This clearly shows that most surveillance is about control. Control is the reason why we take pleasure in surveilling ourselves more and more.

I won’t go into the ‘Quantified Self’ movement and our tendency to put an endless amount of sensors on our body attempting to get “self knowlegde through numbers”. As we have already taken the next step towards control: algorithmic punishment if we don’t stick to our promises or reach our own goals."



"Normally his self-measured productivity would average around 40%, but with Kara next to him, his productiviy shot upward to 98%. So what do you do with that lesson? You create a wristband that shocks you whenever you fail to keep to your own plan. The wristband integrates well, of course, with other apps in your “productivity ecosystem”."



"On Kickstarter the makers of the ‘Blink’ camera tried to crowdfund 200.000 dollars for their invention. They received over one millions dollars instead. The camera is completely wireless, has a battery that lasts a year and streams HD video straight to your phone."



"I would love to speak about the problems of gentrification in San Francisco, or about a culture where nobody thinks you are crazy when you utter the sentence “Don’t touch me, I’ll fucking sue you” or about the fact this Google Glass user apparently wasn’t ashamed enough about this interaction to not post this video online. But I am going to talk about two other things: the first-person perspective and the illusionary symmetry of the Google Glass.

First the perspective from which this video was filmed. When I saw the video for the first time I was completely fascinated by her own hand which can be seen a few times and at some point flips the bird."



"The American Civil Liberties Union (also known as the ACLU) released a report late last year listing the advantages and disadvantages of bodycams. The privacy concerns of the people who will be filmed voluntarily or involuntarily and of the police officers themselves (remember Ai Weiwei’s guards who were continually watched) are weighed against the impact bodycams might have in combatting arbitrary police violence."



"A short while ago I noticed that you didn’t have to type in book texts anymore when filling in a reCAPTCHA. Nowadays you type in house numbers helping Google, without them asking you, to further digitize the physical world."



"This is the implicit view on humanity that the the big tech monopolies have: an extremely cheap source of labour which can be brought to a high level of productivity through the smart use of machines. To really understand how this works we need to take a short detour to the gambling machines in Las Vegas."



"Taleb has written one of the most important books of this century. It is called ‘Anti-fragile: Things That Gain from Disorder’ and it explores how you should act in a world that is becoming increasingly volatile. According to him, we have allowed efficiency thinking to optimize our world to such an extent that we have lost the flexibility and slack that is necessary for dealing with failure. This is why we can no longer handle any form of risk.

Paradoxically this leads to more repression and a less safe environment. Taleb illustrates this with an analogy about a child which is raised by its parents in a completely sterile environment having a perfect life without any hard times. That child will likely grow up with many allergies and will not be able to navigate the real world.

We need failure to be able to learn, we need inefficiency to be able to recover from mistakes, we have to take risks to make progress and so it is imperative to find a way to celebrate imperfection.

We can only keep some form of true freedom if we manage to do that. If we don’t, we will become cogs in the machines. I want to finish with a quote from Ai Weiwei:
“Freedom is a pretty strange thing. Once you’ve experienced it, it remains in your heart, and no one can take it away. Then, as an individual, you can be more powerful than a whole country.”
"
aiweiwei  surveillance  privacy  china  hansdezwart  2014  google  maps  mapping  freedom  quantification  tracking  technology  disney  disneyland  bigdog  police  lawenforcement  magicbands  pets  monitoring  pettracker  parenting  teens  youth  mobile  phones  cellphones  amberalert  canaryproject  autonomy  ignorenomore  craiglist  productivity  pavlok  pavlov  garyshteyngart  grindr  inder  bangwithfriends  daveeggers  transparency  thecircle  literature  books  dystopia  lifelogging  blink  narrative  flone  drones  quadcopters  cameras  kevinkelly  davidbrin  googleglass  sarahslocum  aclu  ferguson  michaelbrown  bodycams  cctv  captcha  recaptcha  labor  sousveillance  robots  humans  capitalism  natashadowschüll  design  facebook  amazon  addiction  nassimtaleb  repression  safety  society  howwelearn  learning  imperfection  humanism  disorder  control  power  efficiency  inefficiency  gambling  lasvegas  doom  quantifiedself  measurement  canon  children 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Mystery of Bulgaria's green cat finally explained - Weird News - News - The Independent
"He's been making other cats green with envy but a Bulgarian moggy's mysterious emerald coat may finally be explained.

Locals believed that the green feline, who was first spotted in the Bulgarian seaside town of Varna, had been attacked and painted the unusual shade by vandals, even setting up a Facebook group to catch the perpetrators.

But it has now emerged that the – as yet unnamed – moggy has been sleeping on the top of an abandoned pile of synthetic green paint in a garage.

Gradually, it is believed that the paint slowly covered the entire cat – giving him his unusually vibrant appearance.

The colour also appears to show no sign of wearing off as each nap the cat takes just makes the colour stronger.

Although widely reported by local and international media, it remains unclear whether the green feline has an owner or is another stray on the Varna streets. The city is Bulgaria’s third largest and a well-known holiday resort on the Black Sea coast."
animals  pets  cats  green  bulgaria  2014  color 
january 2015 by robertogreco
petcam snaps the world through the eyes of four-legged friends
"if you’ve ever wondered what the world looks like through the eyes of your four-legged friend, american photographer chris keeney has amassed a series of snapshots taken from curious creatures’ own point of view. the ‘petcam’ book is collection of images from all over the world, captured by a chihuahua, a manx cat, a red angus cow and a tiny abyssinian guinea pig — just to name a few. using a small, lightweight digital camera attached to the animal’s collar — and set to take photos at predetermined intervals — the pet becomes the photographer, and their wild adventures are documented from an unparalleled perspective."

[See also: http://www.papress.com/html/book.details.page.tpl?isbn=9781616892586
http://www.amazon.com/Petcam-World-Through-Four-Legged-Friends/dp/1616892587 ]
cameras  pets  animals  petcam  2014  via:anne  books  chriskeeney 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Here, Ansel! Sit, Avedon! - NYTimes.com
"It was in 2007 that Juergen Perthold, an engineer living in Anderson, S.C., strapped a tiny camera of his own design to the collar of his cat, Mr. Lee. When the images Mr. Lee captured while roaming around their neighborhood were posted online, they went, predictably, viral. Mr. Lee received a flurry of attention from the international media and became the star of a documentary, “CatCam: The Movie,” which made the film festival rounds in 2012 and even won a few awards.

Mr. Perthold has since refined his tiny camera, which was designed to record video or still photographs at programmable intervals, and has sold nearly 5,000 to pet owners in 35 countries, many of whom send their images back to Mr. Perthold, who displays them on his website. For Mr. Lee is not the only pet photographer, and his CatCam is not the only pet-oriented photographic device.

Last week, GoPro, a camera company made famous by surfers and other athletes who clip on its waterproof miniature Heros to record their adventures, introduced its own version: Fetch, a harness and camera mount designed for dogs. For years, pet owners had been rigging Heros to attach to their pets; perhaps you’ve seen the YouTube video of that surfing pig? (GoPro, a 10-year-old company that enjoyed a stunning I.P.O. in June, couldn’t say how many Heros have been used “off-label” in this way, but it did share its 2013 revenue: $985 million, up from $150,000 a decade ago. And GoPro’s spokesman was quick to remind this reporter that last year Americans spent nearly $60 billion on their pets.)

As programmable digital cameras get smaller and cheaper, the universe of pet, uh, journalism — or is it fine art? — has exploded. Scientists on both sides of the Atlantic have been using these technologies to learn more about the habits of all manner of animals, including house cats. The work of Leo, a cat from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, has been made into a poster. Cooper, from Seattle, has had a gallery show of his work, which has also been collected into a book. A collaborative (what else to call them?) of Swiss cows posts their oeuvre at cowcam.ch.

Inevitably, copyright disputes have arisen over who exactly owns the images taken by nonhumans. As The Washington Post and others reported last month, David Slater, a British photographer whose camera was snatched up and passed around by macaque monkeys while he was in Indonesia in 2011, has been sparring with various media outlets, including Wikimedia, over their use of the winsome “selfie” one monkey shot with Mr. Slater’s camera."
animals  photography  gopro  pets  cats  dogs  pigs  cows  monkeys  2014  intellectualproperty  copyright  wikimedia  petcams  cameras  chriskeeney  juergenperthold  tortoises  georgejacobs  art  tonycenicola  catcam  vivianmaier  jamescoleman  dianaoswald  jamesdanziger  markcohen  paulfusco  streetphotography  alanwilson 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Sympathy for a Desert Dog - NYTimes.com
"“/Kunta,” he said addressing me by my Bushman name, “the problem with you whites is that you think dogs behave like humans or even that your dogs think that they are humans. They are not humans. They are dogs. Their ways are different.”

It took me a while to understand Kaice’s point and the apparent indifference of the Ju/’hoansi to the suffering of dogs. It seemed at odds with the idea that Ju/’hoansi and other hunter-gatherers had deeply empathetic relationships with the animals they lived among. But in time I learned that this is precisely what justifies the indifference.

Ju/’hoansi insisted that animals were people. Not humans but people. They asserted that each species of animal had its own physical forms, customs, habits and ways of experiencing and interacting with the world. Ju/’hoansi claimed to know this because they observed, engaged with and empathized with the animals with whom they shared their world.

Most pet owners claim that the sympathy they offer their pets is based on an empathetic relationship with them built on traits our species and their species have in common — in the case of dogs their sociability, their loyalty, their gratitude.

But this is a different understanding of empathy than that which hunter-gatherers like the Ju/’hoansi had for their animal neighbors.

For them animal empathy was not a question of focusing on an animal’s human-like characteristics, but of assuming the whole perspective of the animal. Their animal empathy defied verbalization. To empathize with an animal you couldn’t think like a human and project your mind-set into it; you had to “be” the animal.

This view of empathy was the product of millennia of living among the wild animals of the Kalahari as “neighbors” and hunting them. Where other peoples defined themselves by reference to other tribes or nations, Ju/’hoansi defined themselves in terms of the their differences from the lions, elephants, aardvarks, elands and many other desert creatures they lived among. Their animal neighbors were a constant source of fascination. Any interesting or unusual animal behaviors, habits and interactions would generate considerable discussion. Their knowledge of the animals was such that they were able to establish an animal’s apparent motives and actions from a few scuffs in the sand, sometimes a day or two old, and accurately predict its movements or behavior on this basis. But their success as hunters, after all, depended on their ability to accurately anticipate the behavior of their prey. And this, they insisted, required empathy.

Typically Ju/’hoansi hunted with small poison arrows that lacked fletching. It took great skill and knowledge to get close enough to an animal to shoot it and even greater skill to able to track the animal down as the poison did its work, which could take between six and 48 hours depending on the size of the animal. After shooting a large animal like an oryx or a giraffe, a hunter would memorize the individual animal’s spoor and return the following morning to track it down.

When a hunter found and followed his prey’s spoor he would not merely read it but surrender himself into it, living each footfall that scuffed the sand. In doing so he plunged into his prey’s consciousness, dissolving the boundary between the hunter and the hunted. Finally, by consuming their prey, the hunter and the prey’s relationship would move from an empathetic union to a physical one as they literally became of one body.

But this kind of empathy did not persuade Ju/’hoansi and other hunter-gatherers to feel sympathy for animals or assume a duty of care for them. Rather it made people focus more on the non-human behaviors of animals rather than what they had in common. Among people who considered themselves to be just one of many different kinds of animal-people in a wild environment, hunting, death and pain were parts of everyday life. Human compassion did not extend to other species.

My relationship with Dog, as the Ju/’hoansi reminded me, was an artifact of the Neolithic Revolution. The domestication of the wolf was but a small part of a transition that fundamentally reconfigured how humans related to their environments. Where they once saw themselves as one of many creatures sharing environments, they now placed themselves at its center and sought mastery over it. Accordingly animals were divided into a series of new categories based on how they fit into the human world. Some were designated pets or “livestock” – and a duty of care was extended to them. Others were designated pests or vermin. Animals ceased to be considered different kinds of “people,” and those like dogs were selected and bred, for human-like traits, among other things, that we could easily empathize with without displacing our sense of ourselves as humans.

My and Dog’s lives intersected momentarily. And I am glad they did. We were both Neolithic orphans stranded in a Paleolithic world. The Ju/’hoansi’s sense of interspecies relations and their extraordinary empathy was right for the wild animals that shared their world, and there is much we can learn from it. But when it comes to dogs, and other creatures that have evolved to crave our affection, I am glad to be a child of the Neolithic."
dogs  pets  animals  culture  anthropology  ethnography  empathy  sympathy  anthropomorphism  2014  africa  jamessuzman  via:anne  relationships  animalhumanrelationships 
september 2014 by robertogreco
aki inomata swaps human hair with her dog to exchange fur coats
"‘I wear the dog’s hair, and the dog wears my hair‘ is comprised of a video installation and the two articles of clothing: an over-the-shoulder caplet and a dog’s outerwear. ‘I have had various pets, and do so now as well.‘ inomata explains ‘I believe that all people who have pets wonder at some point whether their pet is happy, and I face the dilemma of whether it is right to make a living creature into a pet. within this context, I have had these animals appear in my artwork. my works take as their starting point things that I have felt within everyday experiences, and transplant the structure of these experiences analogically to the modes of life of the animals. the concept of my works is to get people to perceive the modes of life of various living creatures by experiencing a kind of empathy towards them.’"
animals  humans  knitting  akiinomata  fur  art  2014  via:anne  clothing  animalhumanrelationships  human  hair  pets 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Teaching reflections: Multispecies Design #1 | Design Culture Lab
"When it comes to understanding human-animal relations, the challenge for design students seems to involve getting beyond the personal to more actively engage with, and interrogate, social interactions as well as broader cultural implications. By the end of the first week I wished I had called the course more-than-human design instead of multispecies design; I think it might have better helped orient us towards these concerns. I also find that the primary pedagogical challenge of teaching content from other disciplines is figuring out how much detail is necessary. I’m constantly afraid that I’m doing a disservice to the complexity of the field, but I also have specific learning objectives for these students and even if everything is interesting, not everything can be equally relevant."



"As a final thought, I’m not quite sure how to capture the parts of class that are, I think, most valuable and fruitful: our tutorial discussions. I want to respect my students’ privacy, and make sure that I provide a safe place to explore ideas that aren’t yet fully baked and sometimes rather emotionally-fraught. I’ll ask them about it next week, and see what they say. In any case, I do hope that they will be keen to share their design work and that I’ll be able to feature it here in due course."
annegalloway  multispecies  multispeciesdesign  design  animals  pets  2014  howweteach  teaching  learning  complexity  animalhumanrelationships  pedagogy  interdisciplinary  transdisciplinary 
august 2014 by robertogreco
I Know Where Your Cat Lives
"Welcome to today's internet—you can buy anything, every website is tracking your every move, and anywhere you look you find videos and images of cats. Currently, there are 15 million images tagged with the word "cat" on public image hosting sites, and daily thousands more are uploaded from unlimited positions on the globe.

I Know Where Your Cat Lives is a data experiment that visualizes a sample of 1 million public pics of cats on a world map, locating them by the latitude and longitude coordinates embedded in their metadata. The cats were accessed via publicly available APIs provided by popular photo sharing websites. The photos were then run through various clustering algorithms using a supercomputer at Florida State University in order to represent the enormity of the data source.

This project explores two uses of the internet: the sociable and humorous appreciation of domesticated felines, and the status quo of personal data usage by startups and international megacorps who are riding the wave of decreased privacy for all. This website doesn't visualize all of the cats on the net, only the ones that allow you to track where their owners have been.

Thanks for letting us be your cat fan headquarters; keep the pictures coming.

One final note, we’re currently running a kickstarter so everyone who loves this website can pitch in a little to pay for web hosting. The rewards includes beer koozies. Just saying!

Privacy Policy

Some things that are important for you to know:

• We do not store usernames.
• We do not share your information.
• We do not sell your information.

FAQ

How did you get all the pictures?

It’s simple, really. But not so simple, really. We procured the images by running a query for public photos tagged with cats from the APIs provided by Flickr, Twitpic, Instagram, and a few others.

How can I remove my pictures?

You have the right to remove your pictures from this website. The way you would go about doing so is by increasing the privacy settings of the photos of your furry feline friends. Then within 30 days your photos will be gone from our site.

Do you really know where my cat lives?

They tend to roam... Every photo on this site was created and uploaded with the locational metadata intact by the original owners. With an estimated 7.8 meters accuracy, if you took a photo of your cat in your home you might find it near that location on the map, or you might not. Every cat we visualize could be accessed just as easily by searching popular photo sharing websites. So, no, we do not know where your cat lives, nor do we care.

What is the point of all this?

We set out on this adventure with a mission in mind: to point out the ease of access to data and photos on the web. We sought to showcase how readily available social media users’ information and snapshots are to the general public.

How did you build it?

HTML5, CSS3, Twitter Bootstrap 3, Javascript / jQuery, history.js, Google Map API, MarkerClustererPlus, MarkerWithLabel, PHP 5, MySQL, Apache, Python, SciPy K-means clustering"

[via: http://morethanhumandesign.tumblr.com/post/92692891885/i-knows-where-your-cat-lives-dazed-when-artist ]

[See also: https://vimeo.com/99867948 ]
maps  mapping  pets  animals  geolocation  metadata  cats  privacy 
july 2014 by robertogreco
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