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Interactive Futures (IF) 2011, November 17-19, presents the theme “Animal Influence” by spotlighting the work of media artists whose work has been influenced by the growing wealth of knowledge on animal behavior, cognition, creativity and consciousness emerging from such fields as ecology, cognitive ethology, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, philosophy, zoology, and others. These research areas have focused on new understandings of animal life and are helping to shift assumed conventions concerning animal cognition, consciousness, and agency. While the change in human attitudes towards animals has been documented in news media as well as in more academic venues, the idea that animals might possess emotional, moral, cognitive lives is an idea that has been, in the past, either dismissed or associated with metaphorical or symbolic approaches.
Our particular interest is in how investigations in animal-human relations are affecting the ways in which new media artists are considering broader understandings of other species and creating varying methodologies for experimental art and new media appropriate for these unique circumstances.
IF’11: Animal Influence offers a workshop, exhibitions, performances, screenings and international promotional activity and an international publication with the journal Antennae: Journal of Nature in Visual Culture for audiences including policy-makers, business leaders, community leaders, educators, and members of the media, as well as academics and artists in various fields and interested members of the public.