With this project, Eva Meijer and Mediamatic aim to challenge human participants to break out of their anthropocentrism, which sets humans a part from other animals by perceiving them as the standard to which other animals are measured.
Through our egalitarian approach, we aim to develop the human emphatic perception of other species by reformulating their shared relations.
Inviting dogs to the table can therefore be interpreted as an attempt that tries to dissolve the hierarchal boundary that exists between dogs and their “owners''. In her PhD thesis about Political Animal Voices, Eva Meijer discusses how an understanding of ‘play’ as a set of language games enables an understanding of how other animals shape relations amongst each other, humans included. This dinner can be interpreted as such a form of ‘play’, since it opens up space for communication between different species. It also challenges the anthropocentric tradition that sets humans apart from other species and regards them as superior.
A multispecies dinner, therefore, does not exclude great conversation, but rather invites all participating parties to have a discussion within their shared framework of communication, which may consist of body language, mimicry, or facial expressions.
It’s egalitarian, it’s communal, it’s fun!