Accepted Paper:

Tracking other animals' body-perspectives: from practice to philosophy and art  


Baptiste Morizot (Aix-Marseille Université)
Estelle Zhong

Paper Short Abstract:

From tracking animals to creating an artwork on the body experience of it - such is the trajectory of our inquiry: how tracking makes us access animals’ body-perspectives on the world in a non-metaphorical way? What philosophical and artistic modes of figuration would be relevant to convey them?

Paper long abstract:

How can we say, in a technical and non metaphorical way, that tracking animals makes us access other animal body-perspectives on the world? And what philosophical and artistic modes of figuration would be relevant to convey them? To answer these questions, we chose a specific trajectory of inquiry: from practice to philosophy, then to art history and aesthetics, and finally to artistic creation.

It is first as trackers that we encountered these questions: we experienced a transformation of the landscape that we begin to see through other animals' eyes: from a scenery for sport or conversation, it revealed itself as a complex weaving of shared habitats, preferred paths and daily routines. It is partly this perspectivist experience that has enabled Baptiste Morizot to imagine a philosophical approach to the living world, based on a sustained inquiry on the animals' body-perspectives on the world, that he calls "wild diplomacy". But accessing the body-perspectives of bees wolves or elephants requires inventing new modes of figuration to convey them: Estelle Zhong Mengual will argue that contemporary art can play a decisive role by creating renewed sensitive experience of animals' body-perspectives on the world through performance in situ or virtual reality. Drawing upon this idea, we will present the installation we are currently creating, which offers a glimpse of the transformations of the mind and body at work when tracking an animal (Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris, 2017).

Panel MB-AMS10
Dancing goose: moving with and moving like animals