A project by Jody Berland
DIGITAL ANIMALITIES explores how ubiquitous media are changing the meanings and possibilities of human-animal relations.
Animals powerfully symbolize what humans value, accept, exclude, or fear in themselves and in the world. New visual and digital technologies vastly multiply the production, circulation and acquisition of animal images. The current proliferation and re-con-figuration of the animal occurs in the context of a global visual culture that relies on images of animals to signify, promote, destabilize and secure its political, cultural, and natural landscapes. Behind the surfaces of this imagery, landscapes are changing and animals are disappearing. A culture in which animals and environments are as precarious as their meanings inspires a range of expressive strategies through which images negotiate risk. The symbolic proliferation of animals reconciles contradictory needs and desires in a mediated environment offering uncertainty together with powerful incitements to connect, participate, and enjoy.