between Gods & Dogs
University of Kansas
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between Gods & Dogs is an exhibition, comprised of two installations, that raises questions about belief, authority, knowledge, and power. The Word That Binds Them is an interactive installation involving books that have been put in positions of authority or treated as sacred by religions, political parties, academic institutions, and other communities. As viewers navigate the work, they are faced with questions surrounding power and ideological belief. The project involves consultations with the Internet Sacred Text Archive, research of citation rankings, and discussions with followers of various belief systems to inform the selections of books. All of these texts play an important role in historical and present-day power structures. The work demonstrates how art—specifically interactive art—is rich territory for questioning and deconstructing systematic ideologies and our interactions with them as humans. While The Word That Binds Them questions the beliefs, knowledge, and power we acquire from books, Most Retrieved Words questions what we might learn from an unexpected source—our canine companions. The project began by engaging the general public in order to collect sounds of their dogs barking and short writings describing what they have learned from their dogs. What can dogs teach us about freedom, play, curiosity, love, forgiveness, risk, danger, and other important concepts? The collected sounds are altered so that they embody qualities of sacred choral music. Visual content in the work is comprised of hundreds of videos of dogs that have been extracted from found footage. These individual videos are composited into an immersive four-channel video projection that contains thousands of dogs running in mass along the walls of the gallery. This paper outlines the methodologies used to create an art experience that inspects theological, political, academic, and nonanthropological sources of belief.
- Theses 
- Visual Art Department Scholarly Works 
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