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Dog Days

His life could be summed up with a longing to abstract in the most literal sense, to disappear. Leave the subject. He searched through everything that could be accessed — libraries, archives, institutions, and moved abroad as a last resort. He endorsed ideas from thinkers in critical posthumanism, on how to belong in the world, on animism, and non-human entities. Later, it was all about the dog he was not yet in possession of. For what does it even mean to 'own a dog'? A great joy in the days? 'Dog Days'1? He wondered how he could not be a nuisance. A plague to the animal. He wanted to treat the animal properly. After returning from Japan, the light started quivering at the edge of his eyesight, countless small screens vibrating, each with their distinctive channel, initiating the intestinal system, begging him to lie down. It had been a long time since he found joy in the light, and even though he had traveled to all continents, everything had been hiding, right here, four hours by train from Copenhagen, or perhaps inside himself. They walked down Karolineviertel. He took a photograph of a dog, the owner responded: “A very lovely breed, Kooiker".

When the subject was finally abandoned, it was not peace he encountered, but loneliness. He had lost his cosmos. Beneath the subject remained nature and light, but it was sharp and rotten. Not as expected. He could not open his eyes. Nature was to be mastered for the benefit of man, to be artificialised, instrumentalised, and therefore to be overcome with logic. Not immersive and loving, but thoughtful, demanding, and pulsating. Maybe it was because he was not confronted enough with nature? Was the possession of an animal a solution to this, or did he require a transformation into animal himself? What about the fact that the dog is bred to extract dopamine from the human brain, i.e. the animal as pharmaco. Thoughts that his partner had conveyed to him. Doesn't this just add another layer of artificiality? Maybe the possession of a dog is no solution at all.

In August we are going to go and have a look at the kennel. First of all, to see how the animal is treated. He wanted to treat the animal properly. By the way, they were also insured against all diseases, at Kennel Blanding. An engineer's way around breeding, mix em’ up! Use this instruction! A perfection machine, so to say. To 'own a dog' already had a tone of imbalance in it that he could not make peace with. This was discussed in London with students and professors, where he was notorious for only wanting to talk about suicide and dogs. Here he was presented with a quote of Haraway in Dr. Dan's lecture 'Posthumanism (1)':

“I am not a posthumanist; I am who I become with companion species, who and which make a mess out of categories in the making of kin and kind.”(2)

This was a revelation. A thinker who acknowledges the relationship between animal and human as equivalent in its creation and dissolution, respectful, and about the very being and affect of the animal brought with it through the interaction with man. The animal that overcomes logic and intellect with the immediate, the unexpected, and with love. It sounds like the road to a new cosmos.

Sidenote: 'companion' can have many facets, therefore alternative constellations than what can be considered a normative relationship with an animal, such as; watchdogs, must be excluded. On a mountain in Greece, he and his brother devised a strategy on how they could kill the animal if they got too close. They laid in tents and heard them howl. The sound of the animals moved around their tents, close and far, varying the volume zooming in and out throughout the night. Previously, a Doberman had ruined their evening hike, by running close to them, barking, showing off his collar with spiked rivets and his large testicles. Haraway has an Australian Shepherd.

Unfortunately, he figured that Kennel Blanding was not a solution. On the dog forum he read that it was "a breeding factory”:

"Plato has been fucked by Carlos and had 13 puppies. It is a breeding factory.”(3)

  1. Hockney, D., 2006. David Hockney's Dog Days.Thames & Hudson.
  2. Haraway, D., 2009. When Species Meet. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press.
  3., Accessed 10th December 2020. https://www. kennel_blanding.