Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Out of the Box

My Bitch performance has ended. The seventeen days in which I have spent a total of around 74 hours in a dog crate have passed. I am free.

However, the performance has made me even more aware of some of the limitations on my life and my artwork that I face. Right now, having just emerged from the cage, I feel even more trapped by those activities which I relegate myself to either out of habit or necessity (in the case of those menial tasks that no one wants to do and those things I have undertaken and feel obligated to finish).

I intend to spend less time on the computer, less time doing thankless & unappreciated chores, more time being aware of what I am doing in the present while not worrying about that which is yet to be done, more time working on my art, and more time with those whom I care about, family and friends. I also feel an even stronger desire to use my art as a means of outreach, advocacy and/or communication, and I hope to engage in some such projects soon.

In regards to what puppy mill dogs endure, I feel that my knowledge is still very limited and that I have barely touched on the experience. However, I better understand the monotony, boredom, atrophy and vulnerability that this causes and I believe it to be unnecessarily cruel to those dogs who are forced to spend their entire lives cooped up for someone else's profit. But what actually strikes me as most inhumane is that the dogs in these situations don't know anything else because they have never had the opportunity to learn or to experience life otherwise.


Colin said...

i have been watching this transpire, and i have mixed thoughts on how it relates to art while i still admire it greatly. and if nothing else, it DOES promote advocacy for this cause in a brave and thoughtful way. and in a very human way, too- we humans tend to think in "human-centric" terms, associations with God, The Universe, Earth, and "Animals" in the field of our own experiential field. at times this is disabling, at other times intelligent.

ChaoticBlackSheep said...

Thank you for your comments Colin. The main reason for the piece was to promote advocacy and to raise awareness. Is it art? I suppose that depends on one's definition and I recognize that I generally tend to walk the line in a lot of my work. To me, the more important question (regarding anything I do or create) is: Is it successful in that it accomplishes what I set out to?

I think it is part of human nature to be human-centered. Such distinctions occur naturally and allow us to set ourselves apart, even if only in our own minds. People have justified a lot of cruelty, even towards other humans, by seeing the others as somehow less-than-human because of their differences, though, especially regarding race, ethnicity and gender. And we have had quite an extensive impact on our environment and on the world in which we live that may have been lessened had we thought in terms of the overall picture instead of just ourselves. So the focus has some definite drawbacks.

I wanted to draw attention to this as it is a human-created injustice that exists solely because of greed. Besides which, I think all people could benefit from thinking outside of themselves, at least to an extent, to better understand and appreciate their impact on the environment and other beings (both human and not) around them.