Bred In The Bone

Video Pair
View The Bred In The Bone Video Section

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson write in their book Philosophy in the Flesh that reason is not an essence that separates us from other animals; rather it places us on a continuum with them.

This is an on going project with multiple videos of primate social interactions paired with like behavior in humans. The videos show a range of behavior, some that is intimate, others playful and some aggressive. In addition to original video there is also a variety of clips gathered from animation, movies, news and web sources. For exhibition multiple monitors and projections are used along with related photographic material.

It is possible to speculate that our shared social responses go all the way back to a common ancestor that humans, bonobos and chimpanzees all evolved from. We are all relatively newer species that evolved from this common ancestor somewhat close in time to each other, perhaps some 3-6 million years ago. Frans de Waal states in his book Tree of Origin that Not only are chimpanzees and bonobos our closest relatives, the reverse is also true; that is chimpanzees and bonobos are closer to us than to, say gorillas. Does that mean our behavior is biological in origin or that we have passed on these similar responses through culture memory? I have found that in actively comparing the nuances of our shared behavior it is hard not to see these comparisons everywhere you look. It has changed the way I see our own actions, sometimes it seems that we assume we are reacting to situations in a rational manner, we seem unaware at times of the way biology guides our actions and surprised when we don't like the results.

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