The Cynics of Rajasthan – joining forces with Jude Cowan Montague – artist, writer and composer with a multi-media practice that crosses disciplines – performed at Chinese New Year exhibition in Soho, London (February 2017). This improvised performance with ‘Indian Dog Song’ performed by Jude grafted projects, interdisciplinary practice and cultural exchange sending counterproductions into a spiral of dog activity.
What was it about the dogs in the Indian sub-continent? Where did the dogs come from? How do we interact with them and why?
Soundcamp May 2018 – watching – Donna Haraway Story Telling for Earthly Survival film by Fabrizio Terranova https://earthlysurvival.org/
Muse on interspecies communication and an archaeology of reading, an inventory of activism, a profound interest in the human/animal, intercultural exchange with otherness and interspecies…
In late 1980’s anti-vivisection and animal rights activism. Later as hunt saboteur – our relation to Dogs, Hounds, Pack animals and human agency, the hunt for existential answer to civilization’s drift.
For MA in Prehistoric Archaeology I adopt a philosophical approach to Man-Animal Relationships in Early Neolithic Europe. The shift in ideology and relation to the natural – domestication and ownership. This approach does not endear me to the Professors at Edinburgh – they would prefer me to count bones as a way to understand ‘domestication’ .
Their motto -“We can dig up the barrel but not Diogenes”. Sadly the barrel is long since dematerialized – on the contrary the ideology of ownership and exploitation of natural resource has only intensified – immaterial superstructures.
Diogenes (the return of the suppressed) – the dog-philosopher will become exemplary.
In 1996 – exhibition assistant/production HumanNature, European Sculpture Project, Colchester. Unique approaches to working with and across other artists. Later a reiteration:
“URBAN BEAR RESEARCH CENTRE: URSATOPIA at Animal Fair, Chutney Preserves 2010
Turning the tide of ethology, bear and comrades will be sharing the rules and manners of contemporary bear etiquette. Humans will be invited to enter Urban Bear’s special acclimatized tent to share tips on the latest fashion, movements and manners from ursatopia. Debretts meets Selfridges, Urban Bear spares no man or woman in search for answers to animal/human behaviours, in a make-it-up research programme.” (counterproductions)
In 2004 – Selected for artist residency to Finland generously supported by North Karelia Arts Council bears fruit: Everywhere encounter brown Russia, Grizzly European Ursus. I return to the UK with memories of the forest, a love of artistic land management (Koli National Park as one giant Art Project – Slash and burn to recreate biodiversity) and a legacy of building temporary bear shelters draped with Marimekko Prints.
In 2007/8 The Bear metamorphoses into Laughing Bear – emerging from improvised response to Caucasus Biennale – Freedom Square, Tblisi, Georgia. Laughing Bear swarms through the centre of the city while President Yashvili bans all non-domestic animals from the city. At night packs of marauding dogs take over the edges of the city. Memory returns to Eastern Turkey sleeping outside, Mount Aarat. I am followed by another pack of dogs at dusk. Fear.
From Bear, to Wolf, Jackal, Coyote, now Dog, pre-domesticated dog, un-domesticated dog, dogs of India.
(Charlie Fox 2018)