Animal Intelligence, Perception, and Art

31 03 2008

It’s difficult to overstate the gravitas a video like this brings. It raises so many questions begging in depth studies to better understand animal consciousness, personality, and their perception of the world. The concept of “animal rights” suddenly sounds far less loony or radical and instead becomes glaringly obvious and even necessary. It is difficult to not be moved by this.

UPDATE:

I was as amazed as many out there and I wondered if this was real or a hoax.  Here I give you another video from a BBC news story that seems to confirm that the paintings are in fact done by an elephant.

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9 responses

31 03 2008
The Quick Pet Stop » Animal Intelligence, Perception, and Art

[…] Read the whole thing here. Mar 31, 2008 | | Uncategorized […]

31 03 2008
Animal Intelligence, Perception, and Art | Two Superb

[…] Suren wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptIt’s difficult to overstate the gravitas a video like this brings. It raises so many questions begging in depth studies to better understand animal consciousness, personality, and their perception of the world. … […]

31 03 2008
Barbara

I just downloaded a book on becoming a Vegetarian. I am feeling extremely guilty about the whole factory farming thing because of some people, and now I read this. I give, though the little fishy’s are still in trouble. No Vegan for me. 😛

31 03 2008
Barbara

BTW, Kudo’s on this. 🙂

31 03 2008
SuperJesus

I had to share this one. Below is a comment sent to me by an evangelical acquaintance and my response to her.

X-tian: i just had to say that Are u for real believing the authenticity of that elephant self-portrait video? I know they are supposed to be smart…but, come on!!!! what a crock of bullshit! this is carrying animal rights to a new dimension..lol..but whatever floats your boat!”

Super J: I certainly don’t pretend to know for sure but you have to admit that it would be pretty amazing if it was true. What I do think is funny is that you’re positive that there’s a magical invisible man who created the universe, and yet I show you a video (not just a picture or a painting but a full motion video) of an elephant painting a picture and you suddenly find your skeptical backbone. Brilliant.”

1 04 2008
Chris

This is just a prime example of man’s ethnocentricism (i know that’s not the right word) and ultimate hubris to assume he is the only being with intelligence and/or creativity.

3 04 2008
ruthrap

Supe…the main reason I questioned the authenticity of this video is because of the ooo’s and awes in the background and not the elephant painting the portrait itself…the people caused the skepticism..not the elephant….I have much more confidence in the sincerity of animals than the sincerity of most humans…if it is actually for real..it is great..animals never cease to amaze me…people are pretty predictable…just for the record!

3 04 2008
SuperJesus

It appears this is a performance and there are other elephants painting off camera, hence the odd cheering outbursts.

I added another video that seems to better show what is going on and to my continued surprise this seems that the elephants are doing the painting…kinda.

I’m suspicious of the handler you can’t always see who is on the other side of the elephant’s head. If you watch you’ll notice that the elephant is getting physical guidance at the tusk from the person. Once an elephant is trained to follow such subtle cues it brings to question whether the content of the painting is composed by the elephant or the handler. I can’t help but admit that it looks more like an exceptional act than real proof of pachyderm artistic creativity. Who knows?

5 02 2009
OCENON

I don’t want to use the above tags…..

but thanks……

I saw elephanst paint in Calgary Zoo but not quite like this…….it was more scribble then painting…..this was a inspiring video….

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