The Third Realm


Artifacts from looking, meeting, and thinking animals.



I have been looking closely at the life cycle of the Vanessa cardui (painted lady butterfly), in particular the moment of the chrysalis. I am interested in an organism that is neither here nor there. As the chrysalis is neither a caterpillar or a butterfly, but something in between. Something being towards a new configuration. Research was ongoing, but rarely coalescing; The Third Realm includes formal artifacts generated along the way.


1. Looking-animals


Via this research I have become quite sensitive to the effects that accompany the act of looking-animals. It is important for me to offer a hyphen between the words looking and animals, (in lieu of a preposition). If I were to say “looking at animals” my language would then dictate a particular proximity between the agential “looking human animals” and the non-agential “non-human animals”. The term looking-animals offers some kind of alternative terminology for framing my relationship to the organisms I study. I want to recognize, with my work, but first with my language, 1) the agency of other organisms, 2)  the effects/affects of looking, and 3) how other organisms and myself actually meet in the middle somewhere, looking at and affecting each other. I hope to (re)configure a relationship where the line between animals and humans can be replaced with something more interesting, and more helpful for us both.