Bio: Julie Andreyev is a Vancouver based artist-activist, researcher and educator. Her artwork, called Animal Lover, made with collaborative others, explores more-than-human ways of knowing to develop kinships with local lifeforms and ecologies. Andreyev’s work has been shown locally, nationally and internationally, and she has published essays in academic journals, books, catalogues and magazines. Her research and artwork is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design + Dynamic Media at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver.
Andreyev enjoys walking with her canine collaborators, Tom and Sugi, paying attention to the liveliness of the local animals, trees and plants, and Earth forces. She is currently working on creative co-productions with birds, including the crow family whose territory includes her home (Bird Park Survival Station), and investigating the creation of immersive media depicting experiences within old-growth forest ecologies (Wild Empathy). Andreyev has a PhD from Simon Fraser University, and is Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design where she teaches in the New Media + Sound Arts major, Critical Studies and Foundation courses.
contact: julie @ animallover.ca
artist statement: Anthropocentric thought and action, at the core of Eurocentric colonial cultures, has led to the catastrophic degradation of ecological systems and nonhuman life that are typified in the era of the Anthropocene—climate change, ocean acidification, nonhuman exploitation, and species extinction. Anthropocentric views are based on frameworks promoting the naturalization of false truths—that humans are naturally more valuable than other beings. This ideology originates historically from narcissistic self-regard about human exclusivity concerning reason, intelligence, emotion, sentience, language and creativity, and has led to the entrenched system of un-ecological dualistic thought typified by the human/nature divide. Anthropocentric worldviews produce hierarchies of worth about lifeforms, such as those representing humans as the pinnacle of evolution—a value system that is both ecologically problematic and evolutionarily untrue. Not only have human-centric views been used to dominate and exploit nonhuman life and nature, but also women, aboriginal peoples, people of colour, LGBTQ, and children. Via Bruno Latour, Davis and Turpin argue that in the era of the Anthropocene, contemporary modern cultures must “…cede to ‘ecologization,’ or the understanding of our interconnected dependence upon the non-human world in which we are embedded and of which we are composed.”
A broad cultural transformation in thought and action must take place If we are to move towards a future of holistic planetary survival. This transformation would include an acknowledgment of human embeddedness in the natural systems of the Earth, and new kinships with nonhumans modeled on respect and care. This is the starting point for my art practice called Animal Lover (2007-ongoing) that explores interspecies methods to investigate ethics of ecologization and kinship with nonhuman lifeforms. The projects include knowledges from biology, cognitive ethology, critical animal studies, ecofeminism and indigenous methodologies, to create expanded human attention towards nonhuman creativity. The projects investigate interspecies methods that include an ethics of autonomy in each encounter. Research stages look at the development of multi-species technologies to support noninvasive creative interspecies collaboration. Art outcomes are manifest as new media installations, sound art, immersive projects, performances and relational art.
Most recently, I am exploring how creativity can address the climate emergency. I use a couple of approaches. First, I investigate interspecies creativity in the local ecologies and with species close to my home—the Pacific Northwest—with the intention to create deep knowledge on the land, and form interspecies communities. Second, I am committed to personal change, through the reduction of my carbon footprint, based findings from climate science. I have been vegan for the past 10 years (vegetarian for 5 years before that). I have drastically reduced my flying (0-1 flights per year). I installed an electric motor on my bike, and I use this for regular commuting to the University and to run errands. I gave up owning a car and joined a car share for trips I can’t make on my bike. I am incrementally going off fossil fuels in my home by switching to renewable energies. I am working on the reduction of my overall consumption by repairing, re-using and up-scaling.Share..