My latest project for Animals, People and Those in Between @ ITP:
You will take your “Animal Object” character, and flip the script by investigating the subjective point of view of the animal you chose.
What is it like being inside this animal? What is its view point? How does it see– or experience –its environment? What – or how – is he/she reacting to the events surrounding him/her? How do those events appear, in terms of scale, form, size, sharpness, color, time?
Drawing on the writings of Üexkull (the idea of umwelt), and the readings on research into animal minds, and / or projected first-person narration (Haskell’s short story, Coe’s “Pitt’s Letter”), you may chose to be anthropomorphic, or you may NOT be, as you see fit.
The purpose of this assignment, coupled with the last one, is to explore how character is made from different points of view, and how your crafting of that character expresses your point of view.
During our in-class crit, some people thought that the piece was two opaque, that I needed to move the titles to the front of the video, or in someway make it more explicit that the piece is about an elephant. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. I would definitely consider moving the “Ruby’s Song” titles to the beginning of the video, but I would also have to restructure the audio portion so everything still synchs up correctly. My goal was to really get into Ruby’s head and create something based on established elephantine means of expression. Even if wild elephants don’t paint and make music, they are ways in which elephants in captivity can “express themselves,” whatever that means, I still don’t know, so I’ll leave it up to interpretation.