What is an animal? By biological definition Homo sapien sits within the Kingdom Animalia, but in Berger’s essay he draws a distinction between the human and the animal, so if human is separate to animal then where does the edge between human and animal lie?
for Berger the distinction lies in human’s ability to use language, but does this mean that a Prairie Dog, that is able to vocally communicate to its fellows not only that a threat is approaching but also whether that threat is approaching by land or air, how immediate the threat is as well as being able to differentiate colour, is a human or an animal? or is a chimpanzee that has been taught to communicate through the use of sign language such as Nim Chimpsky an animal or a human? What of babies? yet to develop language and the associated structuring of thought, are they yet to become human, and what of those in vegetative states and those with severe disability, does this definition of human make them less so? What also of our genetic forebears and relatives within the genus Homo, and possible future relatives born of genetic engineering?
By using the the voices of both human and non-human animals as source material I aim to create a sound work that explores the space between what is human and what is animal. I envisage this work as a 2 channel work that while not necessarily performed live is played in space rather than through headphones and would therefor sit better in the context of performance rather than as installation.