A3_Week 13 Publishable work: Final Blog Post

Where do you think that puppy in the window of your local pet store came from? The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) states that in the United States, 99 percent of the puppies sold in pet stores are from puppy mills. (“Don’t Buy into Puppy Mills”, The Humane Society) In the US alone, from HSUS Puppy Mill: Facts and Figures 2014, there is an estimated 10,000 puppy mills. Within these breeding factories, also called puppy factories or puppy mills these animals live in unsanitary conditions. There can be multiple litters of puppies in a small cage that are inadequately fed and watered. Many of these animals often suffer with diseases resulting in dying young. The welfare of the animals is lessened all for the gain of the owners of these mills. Less is spend on their well-being and can sold for up to thousands of dollars per pet.

People are not properly educated to where their pets and food that they purchase come from. Lyle Munro discusses that animal cruelty as a social issue. Animals have been a significant part of life in urban cities throughout history but the study of animal abuse is often limited (42). These acts of cruelty mostly happens away from the public eye so we are often not aware of the extent of them. Animal rights activists, organisations and artists alike intend to raise awareness for this issue. Visual activism is generally effective to providing individuals with this needed knowledge. Mirzoeff discusses how this enables individuals to represent themselves and be heard in order to bring upon change (293). Today in the 21st century, the increasing visual world around us is always changing and expanding, thus making living more complex than before. It is our responsibility as citizens to be engaged and aware in the issues present in order to ultimately understand the world we live in (P21: Partnership for 21st Century Learning).

The artists that represent the issue of animal cruelty in general often use morbid techniques that evoke quite strong emotions in the audience. “The artists’ role is to shock the viewer into a new way of seeing and thinking about the animal” (Angela Singer, Artist/Animal, 165). One such artist that demonstrates this is that has inspired my creative work is activist, author and illustrator, Sue Coe. Her illustrations from her book Sheep of Fools (Fig 3.), depicts the inside of a slaughterhouse where she reveals the gruesome truth of the industry. The common individual would not be allowed to enter into these factories, therefore Coe shows what takes place behind those closed doors. “A transformation of unseeing into seeing”(Mirzoeff, 260). Another artist that influenced my creative work is Miru Kim. She shows the connection and similarity that we have with animals,including the colour of their skin (Fig 1 and 2). In my final work, this similarity is shown to stimulate the visual thinking of why we are abusing these animals when there are many traits that we share with them.

 

My final creative work titled Cruel Origins, is shown below. My subject is situated behind wire fencing to imitate the inside of a breeding factory. The emphasis is on the central image whilst the other photographs add to the idea of the amount of animals in a confined space. The body language portrayed in each image is similar to what the animals in this situation would show due to their lack of exercise and social interaction from this cruelty.  Her nudity helps show the connection we have with the animal as well as showing vulnerability. My work has the intention of raising awareness for people to stop and think before they purchase an animal from a pet store or online as to where they originally came from. Activist organisations also strongly advise adopting their pet from an animal shelter instead. This type of visual activism will not stop puppy mills from operating but is a step in the right direction towards creating that change.

Final creative work
Porter, Gen. Cruel Origins. 12.07/2016. Photograph.

Work Cited:

Baker, Steve. Artist/Animal. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, London. Non-Fiction Book. 2013.

“Don’t Buy into Puppy Mills” The Humane Society of the United States. Web. Date of Access: 10 June 2016.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Chapter 7: Changing the World” How to See the World. Pages 253-285. Pelican. Penguin House. London.2015. Print.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Afterword: Visual Activism” How to See the World. Pages 287-298. Pelican. Penguin House. London.2015. Print.

Munro, Lyle “The Animal Problem in Social Context”. Confronting Cruelty: Moral orthodoxy and the challenge of the animal rights movement. Leiden, Boston. United States. 2005. E-Book.

“What is 21st Century Learning and Citizenship all about?” P21: Partnership for 21st Century Learning. National PTA. Web. Date Accessed: 12 June 2016.

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A3_ Week 12 Publishable Work: DRAFT Final Post

Where do you think that puppy in the window of your local pet store came from? The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) states that 99 percent of the puppies sold in pet store are from puppy mills in the United States. In the country alone, from HSUS Puppy Mill: Facts and Figures 2014, there is an estimated 10,000 puppy mills.Within these breeding factories, also called puppy factories or puppy mills these animals live in unsanitary conditions where there are multiple dogs in single cages and are fed and water very inadequately. The welfare of the animals is lessened all for the gain of the owners of these business. This is because they spend less on their well-being and sell them for up to thousands of dollars per animal.

The regular person would most likely be unaware that this is constantly occurring. Individuals also do not know that this act of animal cruelty is in fact legal in many  countries across the world. Due to this, animals rights activists and organisations as well as those who are artist or designers have set themselves the task to raise awareness for this issue. These acts of visual activism are generally effective to providing individuals with this needed knowledge. Mirzoeff discusses how this enables individuals to represent themselves and be heard in order to bring upon change (293). Within the 21st century, living in time when the world around us is always changing and expanding, making it a more complex way of living than before. It is our responsibility as citizens to be engaged and aware in the issues present in order to ultimately understand the world we live in (p21.org).

The artists that reflect this issue or animal cruelty in general often use techniques that evoke quite strong emotions in the audience. This includes live public performances displaying the cruelty that occurs behind those closed doors. It is an reveal of truth to the world that forces us to open our eye to reality of what is happening. “The artists role is to shock the viewer into s new way of seeing and thinking about the animal” (Angela Singer, Artist/Animal,  165). A particular artist that influenced my creative work, Miru Kim evoked a similar effect through reveal truth and through showing the ultimate connection and similarity that we have with pigs. In my final work, this similarity is shown to create that the visual thought of why we are abusing these animals when there are many traits that we share with them. In addition another artist that has influenced my work is activist, author and illustrator Sue Coe. Her illustrations from her book Sheep of Fools, she depicts the inside of a slaughterhouse where she reveals the gruesome truth of the industry. The common individual would not be allowed to enter into these factories therefore Coe shows what would behind closed doors in a success way. “A transformation of unseeing into seeing”(Mirzoeff, 260).

My creative work shown below is largely inspired by the works of Miru Kim where she illustrates the connection we have with animals. I have chosen to make my model appear similar to them to evoke these emotions. My subject is posing bare back behind wire fencing to imitate the inside of a breeding factory. The different positions in each photograph describes her feelings of sorrow and unhappiness, similar to what the animals in this situation would normally experience. Her nudity and crouching position also makes her appear vulnerable within her surroundings. My work and others that represent the issue of the animal cruelty in the breeding industry has the intention of raising awareness for people to stop and think before they are about to purchase an animal from a pet store or online as to where they may have originally come from. Activist organisations also strongly advise adopting their pet from an animal shelter instead. My work is among many others will not ultimately stop puppy mills from operating but its intention is to make people more aware of this issue.

 

Work Cited:

Baker, Steve. Artist/Animal. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, London. Non-Fiction Book. 2013.

“Dont Buy into Puppy Mills” The Humane Society of the United States. Web. Date of Access: 10 June 2016.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Chapter 7: Changing the World” How to See the World. Pages 253-285. Pelican. Penguin House. London.2015. Print.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Afterword: Visual Activism” How to See the World. Pages 287-298. Pelican. Penguin House. London.2015. Print.

“What is 21st Century Learning and Citizenship all about?” P21: Partnership for 21st Century Learning. National PTA. Web. Date Accessed: 12 June 2016.

 

A3_Week 11 Publishable Blog

This week I narrowed down my research to the more specific issue of the breeding industry, puppy mills. I researched artists and designers that have been involved in visual activism for this issue as well as gained more knowledge toward organisations that have created campaigns. This has further influenced my creative work to more finished state.

Artists that have influenced my progress include Nicola Constantino, an Argentinian born contemporary artist who has a passion for dwelling into the issues of animal cruelty. Her series’ of works that interests me are Cajas metalicas. Calco de nonatos de portrillos y terneros (Metal boxes. Calco of unborn foals and calves) and Chanchobolas. These are animals shaped into confined shapes of balls and boxes to show the cruelty put upon animals by humans refining them to their own needs. For the breeding industry multiple litters of puppies are cramped into small cages in the unsanitary factories as it is cheaper to do so for their breeders. These factories then gain their capital by selling them at significantly higher prices than they spent on their needs upkeep.

Designers that I have been inspired by are cartoon artists in newspapers, particularly the comic strip series called Mutts. Cartoons are rather basic as this series does contain quite literal meanings. This is effective because they have a widespread audience and being literal is a technique that enables everyone view their work to immediately understand the meaning. For my creative work, I have chosen to photograph a person posing as an animal in a confined industrial environment with the intention of adding boxes and cages in the background. This literally creates the picture of the inside of one of the breeding factories allowing the meaning to easily come across for the viewer. This is a good example of visual activism that reaches many individuals due to the type of media used.

mutts
Mutts comic strip series. Patrick McDonnell. Newspaper comic strip. Missouri, United States. Published 24th October 2010.

From the research that I have collected throughout the past few weeks I have found that I would like to make my main influences on my creative work to be those that reveal the truth in more original techniques. These are those that may be too gruesome or disturbing for some viewers. This includes the works of Miru Kim, Sue Coe and Nicola Constantino. Their works are more effective on the audience and evokes the emotions enabling them to think deeper into the issue.

 

Week 10 Publishable blog

From researching artists and designers works that reflect the issue of animal cruelty, I have gained further understanding on this issue and have begun to develop an idea for my creative work. I chose to research artists works about animal cruelty in general before being more specific on the breeding industry. The artists that I researched appeared to often show quite graphic content in order to successfully shock the viewer. This enables them to think deeper into issue that has been shown to them. For example, an extreme performance inside a LUSH cosmetic store window. The ten hour performance included performance artist, Jacqueline Traide being force fed, liquid squirted in her eyes, lotions being smeared and then scrapped upon her face. These were just some of the acts that test subject animals are put through. This visual activism performance addresses the on going issue of many countries around the world where animal testing is still a legal practice.

 

Another example that was interesting and related well to visual activism for this issue is illustrations from the book Cruel by author and artist, Sue Coe. As shown below is her artwork where the colour scheme that she uses allows the work to appear quite confrontational and gruesome. The blood of the animals being butchered is emphasized with the monochrome aspect. Throughout her book, Coe illustrates the inside of a slaughterhouse where with a camera or in real life one would not be able to see. “There’s no hidden camera, here’s the sketchbook, you can look at it . . .” (Sue Coe, Drawing Attention: Sue Coe article). This type of media that she used allowed the viewers to see the truth that is hidden from the public eye. This would be an interesting perspective that I could use for my creative piece instead of a the standard camera approach.

muesling-web
Excerpt from book ‘Cruel’, Sue Coe. Published May 2012. Illustration.

In addition the photographic series by Miru Kim called The Pig that Therefore I am, is a piece of good visual activism that I have been inspired by. In these photographs, some seen below show her nude with pigs in factory farms. She poses herself as being one of them in their confined space, in the harsh conditions these animals have to live in. In the Daily Mail article “Not quite Francis Bacon: Female artist who is living naked with pigs for 104 hours”, the artist refers to the connection we have with them as a species by also making a reference to our similarity with their skin colour. In the photographs this is clearly represented which enables the viewers to feel similar to them. This tactic is shocking that makes us think deeper into the issue. This would be interesting to include within my creative work to ultimately make a lasting effect on the viewer.

 

Work Cited:

Daily Mail Reporter. “Female artist who is living naked with pigs for 104 hours”, Daily Mail Australia. 5 December 2011. Web. Date of access: 8 June 2016.

Kim, Miru. “The Pig The Therefore I am”. Artist Miru Kim Official Website. 2010. Date of access: 8 June 2016.

Omond Tasmin. “Animal Experimentation: Lush’s human performance art was about animal cruelty not titillation”. The Guardian. 27 April 2011. Web. Date of Access: 6 June 2016.

Taylor, Sunara. “Drawing Attention: Sue Coe”. BOMB- Artist in Conversation. 2 August 2012. Web. Date of Access: 7 June 2016.

A3_Week 9_Publishable Work: Introducing the project

In “Changing the World and Afterword: Visual Activism”, Mirzoeff discusses different aspects on how it is to be a citizen within the 21st Century (258, 290). This century is comprised of mass amounts of technology that enable current news and events to be seen globally in a short space of time. To be an individual in this era, we have become a part of the sharing and accessing this information from the visual cultures around us. It is our responsibility as citizens to be engaged with what is occurring around us. Forms of visual activism that shows this engagement includes through online social medias, graffiti art, videos and public activism gatherings. Particular issues in the world have become widespread especially due to this. A current world issue that I will be focusing on for this assessment is animal cruelty, specifically in the pet breeding industry. This will include the conflict around whether it is humane to have puppy mills or cat breeders compared to adopting from animal shelters. There are many organisations in New Zealand and throughout the world that raise awareness and create petitions for this global issue. Information for this issue is accessible through various online sources and visual texts  like articles, news hubs, television, photographs and social media pages. Over the past two decades of this century, it has become a global widespread problem. Below are examples of visual texts that illustrate this issue:

Work cited:

MIrzoeff, Nicholas.  Chapter 7 and Afterword: “Changing the World and Visual Activism”. How To See the World. Pages 253-286. London: Pelican. 2015. Print.