Aria, video, 2009, 11’10
A collaboration with Tom and Sugi (canines)

Aria shows the artist’s companion dogs, Sugi and Tom, exploring an archetypal Canadian landscape (Banff National Park). The narrative arcs with Tom pictured singing a canine aria, a sonic expression of the dogs’ emotional connection to the environment. Aria, an operatic form with origins in 18th century Italian music, is defined as a long accompanied song by a solo voice. The aria recalls historical romanticism in art that emphasized individual subjectivity. In Aria, this historically human cultural form is interrupted through a depiction of canine subjectivity. Aria uses the musical structure of call and response to depict the dogs’ curiosity, excitement and joy experienced in relation to the river, meadows, ponds, and forests of the park.

Interspecies collaborative methods were used in the project’s processes to determine the narrative structure. On site, the artist and cinematographer documented the activities of the dogs and their explorations of the features in each locale. These individual vignettes provided by Tom and Sugi were then compiled, arranged and aggregated in the editing room into a story by Andreyev.

Shown at:

  • 2013 “our animal others”, Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film, Durham, Ontario
  • 2012, “performance, platform. body affects”,  Sophiensaele, Berlin
  • 2012 “Facing the Animal”, OR Gallery, Vancouver. Curated by Tarah Hogue.
  • 2009 “Animal House: Works of Art Made by Animals”, Saw Gallery, Ottawa
  • 2009 Computational Aesthetics Conference 2009, Victoria, Canada


Production Team:

Julie Andreyev: video editing, production, soundscape
Crew at TV Studio, Banff New Media Institute: cinematography, sound recording
Brian Charles: compositing
Tom and Sugi: concept, actors, vocals

Supported by: 

a coproduction residency at Banff New Media Institute, The Banff Centre, Banff, Canada;
Intersections Digital Studios, Emily Carr University of Art + Design