Emancipated fauna (2020)
This sound installation was commissioned by CONA | institute for contemporary arts processing to be part of a musical cycle AnimotMUZIK curated by Katarina Radaljac and shines a spotlight on the animal industries. Whenever you buy an animal product, you actually alienate yourself from the fact that you are buying the product of a dead animal because you distance yourself from the killed animals, and also from the workers who kill the animals for you to have the final product. Society overlooks this because we are alienated from the fact that it is so easy to go to the supermarket on the street corner and buy animal products without thinking of all the stages required to make them, or the impact that this has on the environment. The animal industry operates in such a way that encourages customers to overlook this and takes advantage of it with little scrutiny.
This project started with the following burning question:
¨How can we easily buy a product of animal origin, but we do not see ourselves killing our own pets? Are they not as much animals as cows or pigs?¨
I believe that it is because we would feel guilty in killing our domestic animals; or that we would feel like we are performing an unethical act by doing so. Why, however, do we not feel the same way when buying animal products? Is there such a big difference between a pet animal and an animal that has an expiration date? I believe that there is. And the main difference is that we give meaning to our own pets because we own them. We objectify them as much as a cell phone or any other material object. Thus, we do not feel the same about killing our dog or buying cow meat because we create symbolism with the former by giving meaning to it and with that get attached.
Because we do not give meaning to non-domestic animals, it is easier to ignore the fact that we are not taking part in the slaughtering of animals, but rather, we buy it ready to be consumed in a plastic bag without thinking any further. However, we consciously refuse to take part in the killing of those animals and overlook the killing because Others will do it for us. Unprivileged marginalized people will do it instead of us, so we can go on with our lives believing that we are being ethical and correct people. Therefore, we wash our hands every day of the massive slaughter and exploitation of animals and pass this immense responsibility to those who normally have no other options to work in life. These people are not only taking the responsibility of killing the animals instead of us, the consumers, but they are also subjecting themselves to potentially traumatic experiences that we are not contingent to, because we are not performing the killing acts ourselves. This occurs because the capitalist system that we live in is designed to maintain a circular economy, where the less privileged will produce for the more privileged, who enjoy the products without being aware of the process.
This sound installation responds to this problem by comparing the alienated sounds of animals being slaughtered and skinned alive with the very nice "plasticized" sounds that can be understood as products of animal origin, neatly packaged in plastic containers and ready to be taken home and eaten without self-questioning.
The main goal of this project is to bring these issues into light and raising awareness that all these sounds are the result of the exploitation of animals. May we all become conscious that animal industry workers undertake our job of killing what we eat and save us from working in such degrading conditions and subjecting ourselves to trauma rising from such an infamous environment. Let the experience of falling drops of blood, screams, last breaths, growls and sounds of animal skin being peeled off in a living body bring us a new sonic perspective of approaching and raising awareness about this matter