Tag Archives: disease

So, What of our Wild Man?

We’ve been working on the second head in our domestication pocket of the project; our He/She Head complete. The He Head, which could be seen in its neotenised state as a She Head is in need of stark contrast to help us reach further in to our thoughts about beauty and repulsion.

Why is juvenilisation in animals often more attractive to people?

Why are those animals shared, liked and commented on more?

We considered what is the opposite of neotony.

Besides the smaller eyes, the hairy face and the ‘wild’ exterior, we also considered the popular Mark Twain quote that sparked a number of comments, and the ideas we have already explored around parasites, dermatological diseases and other physical marks on a face that make it less appealing to others, both on and offline.

Our wild man is taking shape:

Wild Man 1

Wild Man 1

Wild Man 2

Wild Man 2

Wild Man 3

Wild Man 3

How do you feel about him?

As we begin to grimace by the wild man’s appearance, Katherine explains more about the process of creating him and the thought process behind her work:

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Parasitic Perfection

Popular animal imagery is usually humorous or cute and we’re very much interested in the idea of perfection. In all walks of life the flawless, easy-on-the eye vision is oftentimes accepted more easily over what is deemed unattractive. For animals it is no different. Large eyes and lots of fur, therefore vulnerability and a ‘cuddly’ appearance makes charismatic megafauna like panda bears, polar bears and gorillas – that is animals with enormous appeal to humans, incredibly popular viewing.

Is this just a reality or is it shallow?

Crossing over many disciplines and a subject with many age-old questions, we’ve become most enamoured by the idea of repulsion and rejection.

We’ve been considering the antithesis of beauty.

We’ve started to look at imagery of animals infected with mites, ticks and other parasitic organisms. Why? Well, the parasitic organisms essentially feed from the animals that are unwittingly playing host to them. This starts to beg questions about infestation, virus, and contagion – the very idea for the Sneezing Pandas Project. These animals we see online are not shared and cross-posted around the web; viewing figures tell us what others wish to see and this is clearly not it. Such images won’t get the social networker a Repin, a Like or a Retweet and advertisers know this too.

The Cadbury’s advert with the drumming gorilla immediately springs to mind.

Is this advert a parasite in itself? Feeding off our own affections?

Is it just a clever piece of marketing?

Or is it both of these things?

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