#trainingYrHuman (2011–alpha)


A participatory Twitter-based artwork about the agency of animals who live with human-animals. Recent scientific research has illuminated animals’ behaviors, ethical attitudes, modes of cognition, and psychological awareness, but our everyday experiences can also tell us a lot about our companion species if we listen carefully—about their diverse personalities and creative problem-solving and the ways they invent to express themselves and meet their needs and desires in a human-dominated world.


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The #TrainingYrHuman participatory installation débuted in alpha form at the Interactive Futures 2011: Animal Influence media art exhibition at Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s Intersections Digital Studios, curated by Carol Giggliotti, November 2011. ecoarttech discusses #TrainingYrHuman in the special issue of Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture‘s on animals + new media art, which came out of the talks + artworks from Interactive Futures 2011.

Behind #trainingYrHuman
We adopt Akitas, a variety of dogs who are extremely loving to their families yet often considered too primitive and aggressive to conform to modern expectations of docility at all costs. Through our fellow pack members and good friendsTuffy and Buster, we have learned about the limits of humans’ imagination of the canine species, how humans continually give their dog-friends the wrong messages, how dogs cannot be homogenized into one unified category of Dog-ness, and that humans are not the only ones doing the training. We are all continuously being trained.

How to participate in #TrainingYrHuman
1. Login into www.Twitter.com. (Create an account if you don’t have one. It’s free and easy!)
2. Write a Tweet from your companion animal’s perspective that includes the tag #TrainingYRHuman.
3. Search for or click on the #TrainingYRHuman tag to see a list of recent tweets