Conscious in the Machine: The Plight of the Animal in Industrial Culture

Judge, Paul and Sutherland, Bridget (2015) Conscious in the Machine: The Plight of the Animal in Industrial Culture. Animal Publics: Emotions, Empathy, Activism, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 12-15 July, 2015. (Unpublished)

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A joint paper on a documentary film in progress by Paul Judge and Bridget Sutherland. We are currently in the process of making a film on animals in relation to industrial culture. We propose to reflect on some of the questions and content arising from this project. The film focuses on animals as sentient beings, conscious of their suffering and loss of freedom within the machine of industrial capitalism. The paper discusses the challenges we face as film-makers in attempting to portray the sheer size of this machine alongside inspiring empathy for animals, respect for species integrity and recognition of their physical and emotional lives. An examination of the nature of sentience will focus on the animal sanctuary as a site of resistance to the animal industrial complex and the parallel attack on wildlife. The aim is not so much to show the visible horrors of techno- industrial farming as to create empathy in the viewer for animals filmed in the process of being rescued or already living out their lives in a sanctuary. In confronting the problems in the representation of the animal, we also intend to explore the psychological foundations of speciesism and the ways in which this ancient form of cultural self-deception is being played out in the mass media. Excerpts from the film will be screened, including interviews with Jeffrey Masson, Lynley Tulloch and footage of rescued farm animals. Paul Judge is a writer and filmmaker and tutors on the Moving Image program at the School of Media Arts, Waikato Institute of Technology. His recent film, Don Driver Magician, screened in the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2013. Bridget Sutherland is a writer, painter and filmmaker and teaches on the arts program at Eastern Institute of Technology, Napier. She has directed a film on NZ musician David Kilgour, Far Off Town: Dunedin to Nashville (2006) and a film on internationally renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor, Infinity on Trial. (2012)

Item Type:Paper presented at a conference, workshop, or other event which was not published in the proceedings
Additional Information:This conference paper was presented in the Media section of the presentations and served as an introduction of a documentary film in progress
Keywords that describe the item:Conscious in The Machine: The Plight of the Animal in Industrial Culture, documentary film, critical animal studies, agriculture, animal sanctuaries
Subjects:N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions:Schools > School of Media Arts
ID Code:3937
Deposited By:
Deposited On:28 Oct 2015 22:50
Last Modified:28 Oct 2015 22:50

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