Introduction to Wild Things (Blow-up reader)

Introduction to the e-pub Wild Things by Michelle Kasprzak (2011).

When curating this inaugural edition of Blowup, I was motivated by a desire to capture a sense of the current and future possibilities to reach non-human audiences. Several recent events inspired me to pursue this, including hearing about a university research project wherein a game between humans and pigs was being developed, and watching a friend’s cat play a game designed especially for cats on their iPad. Perhaps it is inevitable that our contemporary galaxy of gadgets such as smartphones and tablets would collide with an awareness of animals as autonomous actors, as we see in hundreds of YouTube videos depicting animals being cute or funny. Thinking about animals as potential witnesses to or participants in art is a little outside our usual conception of them that places them into categories of friend or food. Redefining potential audiences for art also naturally demands we redefine our notions of what art is, and what it’s for, raising more questions than answers.

The texts compiled in this e-Book have been brought together to permit a closer reading of the subject of art for animals, beginning with a seminal text by British theorist Matthew Fuller. Each of our participating speakers at the Blowup: Wild Things event have also contributed texts, which will provide deeper insights into their thinking on the subject and their works. A related text by Louis Bec from the V2_ archive has also been included, and this e-Book is rounded out with a short list of further reading suggestions. With an ever-increasing amount of new content available for reading, it was my conviction that creating an e-Book that brought new attention to texts already in circulation, but in the new context of the ideas expressed through Blowup programme, would be of most benefit to V2_’s audiences. I hope you enjoy these texts and also take time to review the public presentations that were part of this programme, at www.v2.nl.

Michelle Kasprzak Curator, V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media

Rotterdam, 07/07/2011

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