“If I can think my way into the existence of a being who has never existed, then I can think my way into the existence of a bat or a chimpanzee or an oyster, any being with whom I share the substrate of life.”
-J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals
Clay has been a central technology to human cultures for thousands of years, but it is also the product of much older geological and environmental processes. These braided histories of nature and culture, and my own experiences living with animals, ground my practice as a ceramic artist. Drawing on historic zoomorphic vessels from around the world and contemporary scholarship in the environmental humanities, my work examines how clay can heighten our attentiveness to communication across species boundaries. Whereas attempts by literature to imagine non-human minds are always predicated on their translation into language – a uniquely human form of semiosis— clay is a technology that uses gesture, movement, and rhythm to communicate; capacities and expressive intuitions that we share with many non-human animals.