Carl Safina: “Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel”

Thank you, Carl Safina for, as a scientist, writing about what is so obvious to many of us who have come to know wild animals by spending hours observing them.

I’ve been studying coyotes for almost a decade now, and I see some pretty basic similarities between ourselves and our lives, and the lives of coyotes. They are immensely social, they mate for life, they have rivalries and joys, they tease each other, they play, they work together, they care for and take care of each other, both parents raise the young and spend a huge amount of time teaching them how to be successful in their environments, they show immense affection . . . and anger, they have agendas, they defend their turf, they have territories from which other coyotes are excluded. They even play tricks on each other. Each coyote has his/her own unique personality and characteristics and no two are alike. I, as Carl, have been delving into “WHO” these animals are — as a species and as individuals. Please read these reviews about Carl’s book, and then delve into the book itself!

Reviews:

Humans Aren’t Special: Carl Safina’s “Beyond Words” Delves Deep Into Animal Minds: http://www.popsci.com/humans-arent-special-carl-safinas-beyond-words-delves-deep-animal-minds

Carl Safina Makes A Case for Anthropomorphism.  The marine biologist’s latest book uses science to show that animals, like people, have complex inner lives: https://www.audubon.org/news/carl-safina-makes-case-anthropomorphism

“I wanted to know what they were experiencing, and why to us they feel so compelling, and so-close. This time I allowed myself to ask them the question that for a scientist was forbidden fruit: Who are you?”

Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina’s landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behavior to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. In Beyond Words, readers travel to Amboseli National Park in the threatened landscape of Kenya and witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves sort out the aftermath of one pack’s personal tragedy, and finally plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Beyond Words brings forth powerful and illuminating insight into the unique personalities of animals through extraordinary stories of animal joy, grief, jealousy, anger, and love. The similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness, self-awareness, and empathy calls us to re-evaluate how we interact with animals. Wise, passionate, and eye-opening at every turn, Beyond Words is ultimately a graceful examination of humanity’s place in the world.

Lee Cline: “Maybe Coyote”

Lee Cline has painted some gorgeous portraits of coyotes which can be seen at the Four Barrel Cafe at 375 Valencia Street in San Francisco. The large canvases (36″x 48″), in oil and charcoal, capture coyote’s movements, essence and form — wispy and almost not there, the way you might encounter one on the street at twilight out of the corner of your eye before it disappears and you wonder if, in fact, you actually saw it — in an almost monochrome palette, with just a hint of subdued color in each painting for accent.

Lee says about herself: “I didn’t go to art school. But I like to draw and I like to paint. Never more than now, with all this digitalization of experience, this feels like the authentic thing: the hand-drawn, the dirty hands, the working and re-working in a world where there is no Undo.” I’m on the same page! I think her art is exquisite! And, of course, she paints a subject I’m passionate about. For more of her art, visit leecline.com

NO(w)HERE, by Lauren Strohacker

Exhibition installation of NO(w)HERE at the Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe AZ, 2013

NO(w)HERE, Exhibition installation, Tempe Center for the Arts, 2013

“Animals disappear: some literally, in the wake of human expansion, some metaphorically, becoming ubiquitous and fading into the urban landscape.

My suburban upbringing was filled with mediated representations of the animal: literature, television, and corporate branding.  While the feeling of attachment to wildlife was authentic, the wildlife itself was artificial.  Even an encounter with a living, breathing animal is bound by unseen regulation.  Populations are controlled, predators are decimated, and survivors are displaced to the edge of human comfortability.  Boundary lines are drawn and animals are expected to obey, an obedience whose subversion is punishable by death.  The destabilization of wildlife systems due to urban sprawl is concealed under the banner of “progress”.

These realizations are the foundation for my exploration as an artist.  As society continues to redefine nature, I explore alternative systems of human/animal interaction through interdisciplinary processes: Juxtaposing animal imagery with human spaces and subverting traditional ways of observing non-humans in contemporary human networks.  By composing simulated encounters I enter into the dialogue of anti-confinement, animal autonomy, and the uncertain future of cohabitation.”

http://www.laurenstrohacker.org/statement/

“Call of the Coyote”: Storytelling, Masks and Music

2014-07-27 (3)

In order to reach more folks, we are expanding our educational and informational efforts about coyotes and coexistence through various forms of art and cultural events. Here is our latest! Thank you all “Coexisters” at CoyoteCoexistence.com, and Sandra and Mike at the Mask Theater!

Gateway Performance Productions, a mask and theater group in Atlanta, has teamed up with us at CoyoteCoexistence.com to promote awareness and understanding of urban coyotes and how to live cooperatively with them in Atlanta and beyond.

Their production, Call of the Coyote, with coyote host Michael Hickey, is a short outdoors performance that includes audience interaction, storytelling and music. Educational information flyers about coyotes is provided by CoyoteCoexistence for distribution at the performance.

Call of the Coyote premiered this past Saturday, July 26, 2014 at the Freedom Farmers’ Market at the Carter Center in Atlanta and returns to the Market on Saturday, September 27th, 2014 with rotating performances from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.

If you’re interested in scheduling a performance for your farmers market, festival or other event in the Atlanta area – please contact Cathy Hudson at Coyote Coexistence – cathyhudson@gmail.com or Sandra Hughes at Gateway Performance Productions – sandra@masktheatre.org

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2014-08-01 at 21-26-47 (1)[This program – a community partnership between Gateway Performance Productions and Coyote Coexistence – is made possible in part by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, the Fulton County Commissioners with the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council, Power2Give and individual contributors.] Reposted from CoyoteCoexistence.com with permission.