City Rejects “Art” Project’s Proposed Chicken Slaughter

Adonia David

Recently my hometown of Lawrence, KS found itself in the midst of a battle over whether five chickens should be slaughtered for an art project to take place in the city.  The project, by Amber Hansen, entitled “The Story of Chickens – A Revolution,” was to consist of a traveling chicken coop containing five heritage chickens that would be set up at various places in Lawrence.  Townspeople would interact with and care for the chickens, and at the end of the project the chickens were to be publicly slaughtered and served at a potluck the next day.

The purpose of the project was, admittedly, a good one.  Hansen wished to address the disappearance of the small farm and the disconnection most people have from the animals they eat.  She wanted to “transform the contemporary view of chickens as merely “livestock” to the beautiful and unique creatures they are, while promoting alternative and healthy processes of caring for them.”  The project hoped to allow the citizens of Lawrence to “visualize an urban landscape that is accommodating and accepting of the presence of animals.”

The project created a large amount of discussion with thoughtful people both advocating for, and opposing it (interspersed with a good number of people making snide comments).  Those who advocated for it, including some who are very concerned about animal welfare, felt that the message was necessary and that people should, indeed, connect with the meat they choose to eat.  Those opposed felt that there is no need, and no excuse, to kill living sentient beings in order to present a message.  Various comments regarding the project can be seen hereContinue reading

Anthropornography

Animal Blawg is proud to present Bridget Crawford, our first guest blogger.  Professor Crawford blogs regularly at Feminist Law Professors.

Anthropornography

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The design firm Süperfad has created an unusual ad for Durex condoms, a brand of SSL International plc.  The video – one of the “virals” on You Tube – shows pastel-colored condom balloon animals simulating all sorts of human-like sexual activity.  The still shot (above) hardly hints at the video’s content.  The video link is here.  The video is not one to watch at work.  Don’t watch it if you’re easily embarrassed.  And don’t watch if you are offended at the possibility of others finding humor in balloons made to look like animals made to act like copulating humans.

I saw the video after a friend posted it to his Facebook page, with the comment that it was one of the “most hilarious” condom ads he had ever seen.  I was at home – alone – when I blithely clicked “play” to watch the video.  I immediately started having nervous laughter.  The sounds, the images, the “Get It On” slogan – all funny, right?  I’m not so sure now.  At one level, my nervous laughter expressed, “I can’t believe someone was brash enough to make an ad like this.”  At another level, my nervous laughter expressed embarrassment, as in, “I can’t believe I’m watching this.”  And at still another level, my nervous laughter expressed some discomfort with what I’ll call anthropornography.

If anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics, behaviors and feelings to inanimate objects or animals, and pornography is graphic sexual imagery intended to arouse (thanks, American Heritage), then anthropornography is the depiction of inanimate objects or animals engaged in human-like sexual behavior, where the primary purpose of the depiction is the viewer’s arousal.

Why do people find the ad hilarious?  I’m not sure.  I’m having nervous laughter right now.

-Bridget Crawford

More Art, Animals & Politics

Another friend of mine just turned me on to The Animal Lounge , where artist Jane O’Hara blogs about animals and art.

David Cassuto

Some Pro-Animal Guerilla Art

I learned from a friend of mine about this exhibition.  Apparently the exhibit is closed but the website is well worth a visit:

The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill

http://thevillagepetstoreandcharcoalgrill.com/

Guerrilla artist Banksy has opened his first official exhibition in
New York. The fake pet shop aims to question “our relationship with
animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming”.

Where: No. 89, Seventh Avenue South, Greenwich Village, NY
(Between West 4th St. & Bleecker St.)

Subway stop: Christopher Street

Dates: Exhibit closes 10/31/08

Related coverage:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/7662797.stm

http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2008/10/banksys-bizarre.html

David Cassuto