Learning Lizard is a multi-component, ongoing project done in collaboration with biologists Peter Wetherwax and Emilia Martins, philosopher Ted Toadvine, and anthropologist Philip Scher.
Lizards use head-bob and push-up displays to communicate with one another, to compete for territory, and to attract mates. These movements involve "hard-wired”, learned, and improvisational movements, resulting in a range of regional “dialects” and subtle individual embellishments. Learning Lizard attempts interspecies communication with lizards via mirrored rocks, video projections, lizard robots, and finger bob movements that mimic lizard head bobs.
The Heat of the Rock for the Lizard Video projection still, 2014-15
A video projection of a woman enacting lizard territorial displays is projected onto a rock.
Heidegger uses the lizard’s relationship to the rock on which it suns and displays itself as an example of the difference between humans and animals. Here the rock is reinterpreted as a site for cultural performance.