UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

(Un)spoken Auffret, Kacie Marie


Through my art, I present a critical view of nonhuman animals as emotional beings that mourn and also grieve. The inspiration for my thesis came from an across Canada drive that I took from Kelowna, British Columbia to Windsor, Ontario during which time I saw 140 animals dead on the highway. The installation entitled (un)spoken uses motion sensors, video, photography, and mapping to address mourning, grief, “entangled empathy”, and “rewilding” through the symbolic representation of my journey and the crows that followed me on my way. I see my installation as an entry point for individuals to start to rethink their relationships with nonhuman animals in their daily lives. I base the foundation of my creative work around the theoretical concepts from the ideas of Barbara King, Angus Taylor and others who examine nonhuman animals mourning and grief. The idea of “entangled empathy”, which is at the heart of my work, is taken from the research of ecofeminist philosopher, Lori Gruen. Biologist Marc Bekoff’s ideas around compassion and reconnecting with nature through a process that he refers to as “rewilding” is what I seek to explore with the imagery I have chosen to work with. The aim of the work is for the audiences to recognize possible ways of reconnecting to nature and to encourage them to grow more conscious of the fact that human activity has a significant impact on the animal world.

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