Unscoping animals

McGoldrick, Rosemarie (2018) Unscoping animals. In: Rurality Re-imagined: Villagers, Farmers, Wanderers and Wild Things. Applied Research and Design Publishing, San Francisco, pp. 256-267. ISBN 978-1-940743-34-9


Asked as an artist to re-imagine and represent wild animals, livestock and companion animals for a new rurality (as opposed to urbanism), one may need to remember, think of and configure animality as a priori to humanity, to understand cities and rural settlements as our own animal homes; to appreciate seas, skies, rivers, fields, forests, bedrock and soil as our own animal resources, with our technology as our own animal adaptation. On these terms the human animal is as 'wild' as any other and both sets may thus meet each other on level ground. In any such posthuman utopian venture, a different sort of art practice may prove useful for new readings and interpretations. That is, an art practice which belongs to no romanticised rural landscape, instrumentalised nature reserve or to the micro- and macroscopic lens regimes of current wildlife photography and videography, but centres instead on what may be observed unscaled by an unenhanced eye or what is made for the sensoria of other wild animals. In making readings of such art, we may come to understand how few wild animals of much visibility except ourselves there are in a world we have helped shape over millennia, how distant and unconfiding they often are, as well as what little we notice of them and the reasons why.

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