When art says something troubling
Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-11-21
More dangerous than the Henson exhibition to some people’s view of what civil society is and should be is an exhibition currently open in the US. It goes to the heart of civil rights… and I’m not talking about censorship.
Have a look at the pictures. Anyone care to comment about the aesthetic? (They remind me vaguely of something Asian, with the Panbanisha seeming distinctly calligraphic.) Details of the artists and more paintings over the fold, although I can say their talents may be familial: Kanzi and Panbanisha share a parent.
The “Untitled” by Panbanisha is still available on eBay starting at about US$1000. Kanzi, the painter of "Pillow Painting" is quite famous in the scientific community.
Oh, yeah, in case you didn’t follow the links: the paintings are part of the Apes Helping Apes project, and no, the ape painters usually aren’t from genus homo, and the painting titles are defined by the artists.
The Vatican thinks humans have souls, but these artists don’t. Shame! Give them quasi-human rights I say!
- More paintings from these artists
- "Human rights: a regressive concept" (2008-05-04)
- "Of rats and men: Generalized reciprocal altruism" (2007-07-10) also discusses chimpanzee altruism, but of the non-reciprocal (more subtle) kind.
- "Oz Human Rights: Item 7: A Quibble" (2007-07-31) goes further into my reasons for granting great apes near-human rights.
- "Evolving magpies: do they model different humans" (2008-10-25) and "Magpie morality??" (2008-09-17) looks at the smarts of magpies that seem to think I’m one of their pets.
- "Bird Brains: Are Parrots Smarter than a Human 2-year old" (Sci Am Mind and Brain 2008-11-20) discusses the smarts in parrots… particularly Alex the African Grey who even seemed to understand "zero".