With

With

For the series “With,” I scan the bellies of various of my cats. Most mornings, I sit at my computer answering email. Frequently one of my cats will approach me and jump onto my lap. I then place that cat on the scanner adjacent to my computer and scan him or her. Because I am concerned that the light from the scanner does not hurt the cat’s eyes, I take off the shirt I am wearing and wrap it around them. I also use my hands and arms to shield them from the light if necessary. The series examines the intersection between agency and control so frequently present in relationships between humans and companion animals. The animals demonstrate their sense of agency by initiating contact with me. However, the duration of time that they need to sit on the scanner bed is lengthy (3 ½ minutes) so I then exert a joint process of cajoling (petting) and gentle control to keep them on the scanner for at least part of that time. The cats and I are both in motion as the scanner head travels down the scanner bed, producing images with a sense of spatial ambiguity and fragmentation.

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