The contemporary animal

Conference item


Baker, Steve 2015. The contemporary animal.
AuthorsBaker, Steve
Abstract

‘The contemporary animal’ was a keynote address for the conference Visualising the Animal at the University of Cumbria in June 2015. Building on ideas developed in my plenary paper for the Portraying Animals conference at the National Gallery in Prague the previous month, this paper had a stronger photographic emphasis reflecting the interests of both the conference organizers and the delegates, many of whom were themselves artists. The abstract for my paper read as follows:
‘A recent book on contemporary art proposes that “the photographic is not merely a particular art, or a particular kind of art. It is the currently dominant form of the image as such.” But for artists who use photography to explore questions of animal life, what is it that makes contemporary art about animals “contemporary”? How easy is it to maintain a critical engagement with the forms of current art practice at the same time as attending to the condition of nonhuman animals? … Contemporary animal imagery that fails clearly to signal its contemporaneity will struggle to reach beyond a small audience already engaged by its subject matter but largely oblivious to its form – its work – as art. Drawing on the work of artists using photography (including some of my own work), this talk will consider aesthetic, rhetorical, pictorial and curatorial strategies that might conceivably edge forwards the project of “visualising” the contemporary animal’.
As a result of a meeting at the conference with Martyn Rowe, editor of Lantern Books in New York, when he subsequently became Co-Vice President of the US-based Culture & Animals Foundation (which provides grants to artists working in animal advocacy and animal studies) he immediately invited me to join CAF’s Advisory Board – a role of which I’m particularly proud.

Year2015
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/624359
hdl:10545/624359
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Publication dates18 Jun 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Jan 2020, 09:53
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/9464q/the-contemporary-animal

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