“Art brute: When the artist is animal” was a conference presentation held at Art in Translation: International Conference on Language and the Arts, University of Iceland and the Nordic House, Reykjavík, September 18–20, 2014.
Given humans’ limited ability to communicate with other animals through language, what can we learn about them through the art they make? Can art be a unique medium through which we can more closely empathize with other species—a form of mediation between cultures across species lines? Can art even help us relate to creatures previously considered unappealing or uncharismatic? These are among the questions explored in a presentation that was part personal essay, part scholarly paper inspired by academics and artists working in interspecies aesthetics.
Painting by Congo the chimpanzee.