Sheep Pig Goat (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission)

Harradine, David (2020) Sheep Pig Goat (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission). The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. ISBN 978-1-8383967-8-7


Sheep Pig Goat is a performance-based research project, commissioned and presented publicly as a “creative research studio” by Wellcome Collection (the public engagement arm of Wellcome Trust) during the exhibition Making Nature (December 2016–May 2017).

The project brought together performers from across artforms (dancers, singers, musicians), a number of livestock animals (sheep, pigs and goats) and academic researchers from various disciplines (history, design, philosophy, political theory, biology, literature) to explore, in public, a set of interrelated questions concerned with interspecies empathy, understanding and communication.

The key methodology of the research was a series of improvised performative encounters between human and non-human agents. These were framed by public conversations involving visitors to the research studio (members of the general public) and a series of panel presentations and discussions with visiting academics.

Following this initial public presentation of the research, a short film was made of the project. This was screened in the galleries at Wellcome Collection as part of a follow-on exhibition, ‘A Museum of Modern Nature’ (June–October 2017). Subsequently, an extensive archive entry for Wellcome Library was commissioned and created. The project was further developed at the University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine in 2020. This iteration expanded the multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary reach of the project, bringing the perspectives of veterinary scientists into the project for the first time.

Key findings of the research concern methodological advancements in Human-Animal studies, specifically the need for multi- and interdisciplinary approaches, and multivalent perspectives, in order for non-human animals to begin to be seen as active subjects rather than passive objects. The project also impacted pedagogies and practices in a Veterinary School setting. It has led to numerous creative and scholarly outcomes and responses, including a published interview, podcast and three symposium presentations.


Published Version - PDF (REF 2021 Practice Research Submission)

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