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  • Cat Fancy Club

Pope, Nina and Guthrie, Karen, 2011, Show, Exhibition or Event, Cat Fancy Club

Abstract or Description:

Pope and Guthrie have collaborated as artists and filmmakers for 17 years, sharing all research and creative activity equally, winning the first Northern Art Prize in 2008. As Somewhere, they have led many projects in new audiences and innovative technology.
This project looked at feline genetics, continuing previous inquiries into hobby or ‘pro-am’ creative groups. It involved two years’ research with individual breeders and science professionals, including Dr Leslie Lyons, an international authority on feline genetics at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
The research question was whether community science has a meaningful link with ‘professional’ science. Pope and Guthrie probed how aware cat breeders are of the genetics underpinning their hobby and how, in some cases, they connect directly into broader scientific research, in a relationship that harks back to Darwin’s correspondence with W.B. Tegetmeier on fancy-pigeon breeding (Theunissen 2012). They explored how, through a 'hobby' activity, home breeders gain a deep understanding of feline genetics and transmit this to a wider audience in a direct and visual way via the cats they develop. The research broadened the current debate around ‘pro-am’ culture to ask if it can extend from the familiar territory of the creative arts and software development to biomedical science.
The project was exhibited at the Beijing International Design Triennial (2011), which attracted an estimated half-million people and worldwide media attention, including China Central Television, Beijing Television, People's Daily, Guangming Daily, China Daily, Beijing News, Life Week, New York Times, Interni, designboom and dezeen. The project was also featured in ‘We Make Money Not Art’ (2011) http://we-make-money-not-art.com and exhibited at Wellcome Windows, London (2010–11). Pope gave an associated lecture, ‘Alter nature: The unnatural animal’, for Z33, The Hasselt Fashion Museum, University of Hasselt, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology, University of Leuven and bioSCENTer (2011).

Contributors:
ContributionNameRCA ID
CollaboratorLyons, LeslieUNSPECIFIED
CollaboratorNichols, AnthonyUNSPECIFIED
Official URL: http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2011...
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W190 Fine Art not elsewhere classified
Creative Arts and Design > W600 Cinematics and Photography > W690 Cinematics and Photography not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2011 17:57
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2014 14:02
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/666

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