The Archivist Speaks ... 
On July 7th a new series of events at V2_ kicks off with Wild Things. What's in the archive that is related to this?
The new series of events at V2_ is entitled Blowup. The first event in this series, Wild Things, features art for animals, or more precisely: "art and design projects that are created with animals in mind as the end users and active participants – not people." It presents Wilfried Houjebek's rewriting of the Gilgamesh epic in pictograms which can be understood by great apes; new habitats for hermit crabs and a lounge space for crickets created by Amy Young; television for pigs by Elio Caccavale and finally an iPad arena in which cats can play.
Wilfried Houjebek has been at V2_ at least twice. He led a street walk in 2010, but he must have participated years earlier (2000) in Wiretap 6.11 Slow Crash on art and space travel, as he was one of the driving forces behind the Jungle Association of Autonomous Astronauts, which generated lots of interest and lots of fun around that time.
Browsing through the archive – both the material which is publicly available and all those photographs, videos and scans which are not yet accessible through the website – one has to conclude that animals have not played a major role in the arts and projects which have been presented at V2_ through the years.
Yes, there was a dog in Paul Garrin's work Yuppie Ghetto with Watchdog, but it was not a real dog; it was a 'virtual dog'. This work was presented at DEAF94, which featured many other works that dealt with the theme Digital Nature. But digital nature was exactly not concerned with real animals, nor with real nature, Both the exhibition of DEAF94 and the symposium on Generated Life which was part of DEAF94 were concerned with digital artifacts which behaved just like nature, or reflected on philosophical questions of nature and 'life'. Papegaaien (Parrots) by Felix Hess is not an installations with or for parrots, it's a sound installation consisting of loudspeakers.
An interesting case is the work of artist and biologist Louis Bec. His work opens a very intriguing take on technology its influence on human nature, and how we understand our environment by reasoning from the perspective of strange, fictional animals. He did a lecture at the symposium of DEAF94, and his essay Squids, Elements of Technozoosemiotics is part of the the book Technomorphica.
Though V2_ has upheld firm interest in biology through the years, it has seldom welcomed animals. Except, of course, when these animals were robots, as in Chico MacMurtrie's The Ancestral Path: The Dog Monkeys Journey through the Amorphic Society. There are many more of those examples to find....