K-9 Topology:

I Hunt Nature And Culture Hunts Me



Following a residency in collaboration with the Jacana Wildlife Studios working with wolfs and wolf-dog hybrids (Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs) a performance was executed, articulated within the context of interspecies communication theories of Donna Harraway and Giorgio Agamben based on the emotional economy phenomenology explored by the author who juxtaposed her work to Joseph Beuys and Oleg Kulik. 

Following the performance a panel discussion was held with the author, Jean-Philippe Varin from Jacana Wild Life Studios as well as the wranglers and trainers of the wolves, discussing phylogenetics of the wolf, human-wolf-dog relations and animal ethics in general.


Joseph Beuys
Animals retained a natural instinct and closeness
to nature that humans have lost. For me it is the
idea of the word that produces all images. It is
the key sign for all forms of moulding and organizing.
When I speak using a theoretical language,
I try to induce the impulses of this power, the
power of the whole understanding of language
which for me is the spiritual understanding of
evolution. But language is not to be understood
simply in terms of speech and words. That is our
current drastically reduced understanding of language,
a parallel to the reduced understanding
of politics and economics. Beyond language as a
verbalization lies a world of sound and impulses,
a language of primary sound, without semantic
content, but laden with completely different
levels of information. Every form of life speaks a
language, untapped and unheard.

Oleg Kulik
I cannot keep silence anymore! … A man is an
animal first of all. And then he is a Social animal,
Political animal and so on. I am an Art animal,
that’s why, spectator, I need your physical and
psychological efforts to make sense. There are all
sorts of other knowledges outside of the center,
if only one could create a new united culture of
noosphere, an inclusive zoocentrist culture of the
senses and of embodied perception.
Everything that lives and breathes, not via words,
not via aesthetics; only the moral law inside you
and the necessary decision to act are required
in order to hear the suppressed voice of nature,
also in yourself.

Maja Smrekar
The total management of my own animality is
still human, but the transcendence into a human
animal is what I feel truly fulfilling. I don´t
have siblings, I am alone, I am not feeling any
emotional security … I want to remember when
my nightmares were clearer. Until you approach
submissively crawling into my bed, although I
am your slave. You are my emotional crutch, my
machine for loving. We compose a hybrid family,
a subversive kartel. You and I are hunted by
those who lack the capacity of transfer into the
intimacy of companionship beyond the anthropological
machine discourse of deviding species.
Our relationship is a kinship. I am your little sister.
When they tell me to draw my family in kindergarden,
I draw you as my beloved brother. I
do not erase you even though I am 5 and my first
painful cultural encounter towards companion
species concept disapproval starts to work, when
a teacher tells me severely that a dog is not and
can not ever be a part of the human family! We
feel and understand each other, lying in a vast
tanned skin landscape of dead animals … We
dwell into the vast potential of different ways
of life exploding. We implode that possibility
in fear and rage, resent and animality. We smell
death and feel comfortable in the uncanny valley
of machined fur listening and knowing how it
will end since we want to be sure of what it will
cost. I want to keep you alive so there is always
the possibility of murder later. I want you to understand
that my malevolence is just a way to
win. We want the name of our ruiner. I want you
to know that being kind is overrated. I want to
write my secret across your sky. I like to watch
you lose control. … I want your paws and teeth to
scar me so I’ll know where you’ve been … We get
excited when an animal is slauthered and therefore
we feel sentimental. So sentimental that we
can´t wait to taste it´s fear while eating it for
dinner. We transcendent fear. We wanted to be
there when its hot black rage ripped wide open.

We want to taste our own kind: Nature-Culture
ends up being one word.
We want each others controlling interest. You are
my nutrient as I am yours. When I want to strangle
the stars for all they promised me, I cry into
you, hugging your soft fur and I want you to know
my wounds are self-inflicted. I want to be somewhere
beautiful when I die, with you, as you embody
my intimate emotional memory. I want you
to make me understand what is the difference
between a child and domesticated animal? Am I
a dog? I want to be your dog. I want to stop destroying
you but I can’t. This is our intimacy.
And I want and I want and I want … and I will
always be hungry.


Author: Maja Smrekar 

Production Bandits-Mages / Rencontres Festival and supported by CNC - centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée, France. 

In collaboration with Jacana Wild Life Studios; Jean-Philippe Varin, Véronique Géault, Christophe Gaudry 

Co-produced with Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia. 

Supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana - Department for Culture