Thanks to Lynn Turner for her incisive and generous reading of my manuscript, which not only validated its publication but greatly improved it. Some of the seeds for this study were planted in my PhD dissertation, and I’d like to acknowledge my committee: Claire Bishop, Karl Steel, David Joselit, and Dominic Pettman—not only for setting a high bar of scholarship but also for their continued support as I navigate the squid games of academia. I am also indebted to Vinciane Despret, Laurent Dubreuil, and Cary Wolfe, whom I have never met in person but whose writings have had an outsized influence on me, which is clear from this book. A warm thanks to Eric Lundgren and Anne Carter at the University of Minnesota Press for their guidance, for their editorial advice, and for being all-around pleasures to work with.
Thank you to Lise Kjaer and the Department of Art at the City College of New York for letting me teach my Animal Studies and Contemporary Art course during the spring 2021, summer 2020, spring 2020, and summer 2019 terms. This gave me plenty of opportunities to rehearse my arguments. I thank all the students in these classes for their interest in the many topics we discussed. I first taught this course at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science in spring 2017. Thanks to William Germano, Raffaele Bedarida, and the select students in that class who were open to its lines of thought. I am grateful to the following people at various art institutions who pointed me in the right direction and provided access to some of the moving image works discussed in this book: Sydney Fisherman and Cathy Koutsavlis with Marina Abramovic’s studio, Athena Christa Holbrook at MoMA, Cecile Panzieri at Sean Kelly Gallery, and Marine Pariente at Marian Goodman Gallery.
I am grateful to the artists Agnieszka Kurant, D Rosen, and David Weber-Krebs for taking the time to discuss their practice with me. This was most helpful. It is with fondness that I think back on the many conversations I was lucky enough to have had with Martin Roth about his work, nonhuman animals, and so much else. He left behind an amazing body of work; Martin’s installations and friendship had a great on influence me. Finally, as always, I am indebted to the love and support of my family and my partner, Media Farzin.