Grooming is a common sign of animal behavior that is based on activities to care for the external parts of one's own or others' bodies, to strengthen bonds and increase trust.
In bovine herds, complex hierarchical structures are generated in which there are dominant and subordinate cows that express their interaction through body language. Some examples include licking their necks, tails, ribs, or scratching each other. In this way, they make evident their social organization and their roles as individuals in the group.
By creating brush-like devices for grooming and being groomed, I have found a way to engage in their system. Territorio en Contención consists of four chapters of different site specific interventions of groups of cattle used in the milk industry in the Cundinamarca-Boyacá highlands.
In the first, I use Antropo-prótesis to provoke everyday encounters with the cattle, which in turn generates textiles with the dead hair that will later be used for the construction of sculptural objects.
In Membrana, I will construct a suit to determine the morphological compatibility between Bovine-Human in order to groom themselves based on the study of comparative anatomy of both species. Does each part of my body fit with that of a bovine?
El Acicaladero intends to dismantle the living morphology of my body to become objects used by Bovines, and to perceive the animal interaction through inanimate touch.
Finally, the Prótesis Bovinas closes the circle of interaction: the animals will be carriers of devices conceived to groom me and other “humans”.
Over time, my intervention begins to imply a benefit, an instrument or a nuisance, by which they will begin to claim a position in their social structure. On the surface, grooming seems to be only an affective gesture, but it is also a language of acquisition and adjudication of power.
This -Territory in contention- pursues the transfiguration of the imposed position as "human" in order to introduce myself as another possible presence.