The panel would like to explore how body movements (moving together and moving like) can affect the perception and the process of knowing animals and their mind. The question might be addressed with captive, free, domesticated or trained animals, from a scientific or an artistic point of view.
Anthropologists have documented the mimicry and imitation of animals' body movements in tracking and hunting traditions. It seems that "becoming animal" is a significant part of hunting practices across the world. Beyond that, one could argue that the perception of an animal's living and moving body does something to the human observer, arguing with Gibson that the result of perception is not a percept but the transformation of the perceiver. In this panel, we'll explore what happens to the perception of animals when people move with and/or move like (free, captive, wild, trained or domestic) animals, i.e. when they create with animals a shared structure of action. What kind of self does emerge from these interactions and how does it change the way of perceiving other living beings and their mind? Does such a kinetic engagement promote empathy or make the perception more acute? Could the scientific study of animals benefit from this kind of approach, and how would the activity of science be changed, if the researcher accepted to be transformed by his/her animal subject? For example, would it help to better figure out the perceptual world of the animal? The panel will welcome any contribution to this line of inquiry, from ethnographic descriptions to anthropological or epistemological analysis; but most of all, the convenors would be pleased to welcome artists, dancers or plastic artist, who would be interested in sharing their practice of a kind of another of "becoming animal".