Is Animal Breeding A Form of Sculpture?

00:00 / 00:00

Revival Cohen & Tuur Van Balen explore how humans have transformed the animals that we live with.

The way in which we think about animals is riven with contradictions. We dote on our pets yet consume vast amounts of animals as meat. The UK consistently donates more money to animal welfare charities than any other cause and yet have created pet breeds with horrifying health defects. Revival Cohen & Tuur Van Balen are an artist duo who are interested in these ambiguities, in particular the moment when animal bodies are transformed into objects of human desire. They’ve made work with thoroughbred race horses, bred their own batch of genetically modified goldfish and in 2023 they were the recipients of the UAL’s Creative Computing Institute x Somerset House Experimental Technology Fellowship 2023, offering a unique development and commission opportunity for an artist looking to incorporate new technology within their work. This resulted in a new film commission, May the Fox Take You.

In this episode of The Process we join them in the research process for their next work, which continues to explore a question central to their practice: can animal breeding be considered a form of sculpture? We talk to historian Michael Worboys about how the Victorians created the modern dog breed and writer and curator Filipa Ramos discusses how art has informed the way we think about the animal body. 


Producer - Alannah Chance

Exec Producer - Eleanor Ritter-Scott

Series presenter - Laurent John

Related content

May The Fox Take You

  • Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen

A moving image work reflecting on loss, language and AI.