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Unit 3 - Contexts |
Reflection on 'Come Together, Right Now' seminar with OCAD U and City & Guilds of London Art School

As part of my academic pursuits, I applied to prestigious institutions such as Camberwell College of Arts UAL, Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCAD U) in Toronto, Canada, and City and Guilds of London Art School (CGLAS). I am delighted to have received authorization for one of the five coveted spots in the academy. This opportunity has allowed me to engage with a diverse international online research event, fostering the formation of a new virtual community of artists. I submitted an application to participate in this seminar when I was in Unit 2 and finally waited for the start of this seminar in early October. I was very happy to participate in this seminar. In the beginning, the work of artist Cole Swanson impressed me.

Cole Swanson is an artist and educator based in Toronto, Canada. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and throughout international venues in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. He is a two-time national fellowship winner through the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute for his research on miniature painting and fresco techniques in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Under the supervision of modern Indian artist and professor Nathulal Verma, Swanson studied techniques for the manufacture and use of natural materials, mineral pigments, and handmade supports.

At the heart of recent work is a cross-disciplinary exploration of materials and their sociocultural and biological histories. Embedded within art media and commonplace resources are complex relations between nature and culture, humans and other agents, consumers and the consumed. Swanson has engaged in a broad material practice using sound, installation, painting, and sculpture to explore interspecies relationships. (Cole Swanson, 2023 )

The provocation of my choice is by Cole Swanson on 'The Arts of Noticing: A Multispecies Art Provocation'​. 

This research underscores the intriguing cross-cultural experience that Chinese students encounter in the UK, characterized by the presence of a significant fox population, an uncommon sight in their native urban environments. The study unveils the captivating phenomenon of domestication syndrome observed in British foxes, marked by substantial morphological and physiological transformations that distinguish them from their wild ancestors. These adaptations encompass heightened docility and tameness, alterations in coat pigmentation, ear morphology, cranial dimensions, and even a reduction in brain size. The research further delves into the modification of urban foxes' snouts, suggesting an increased evolutionary plasticity in the facial features of canines. Additionally, the text expounds on the discovery of three distinct characteristics in the cranial morphology of urban foxes that parallel the traits associated with domestication syndrome, shedding light on foxes' capacity to adapt to human-dominated environments.


This investigation prompts readers to reflect on the implications of these alterations in urban foxes and their potential for thriving in environments heavily influenced by human activity. Furthermore, the contemplation of the diverse research subjects and methodologies pursued by fellow scholars throughout this endeavour yields invaluable insights, enriching the my own perspective. It underscores the significance of embracing a wide spectrum of research domains and topics, including the dynamics of revolutions and the exploration of traditional rituals within diverse cultures. These diverse research foci represent voices that are frequently marginalized but contribute substantially to the multifaceted tapestry of academic discourse. In sum, the research stimulates profound contemplation regarding the intersection of urban wildlife, adaptation mechanisms, and the diverse landscape of academic inquiry.

After finishing the research, I started thinking.

“Foxes are probably going to be okay because they are showing evidence they can adapt to human-dominated landscapes,”

“But maybe other species who don’t possess the same changeability as canines and foxes may not do as well.”

Mirror: (Co-create a Mirror for sharing ideas)

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Chao, S. et al. (no date) The promise of Multispecies Justice, Duke University Press. Available at: (Accessed: 22 October 2023). 

Chao, S. et al. (no date) The promise of Multispecies Justice, Duke University Press. Available at: (Accessed: 22 October 2023). 

Media-Studies (2023) A guide to Jean Baudrillard’s simulacra and simulation, Media Studies. Available at: (Accessed: 22 October 2023). 

Pope, S. (2020) Foxes are self-domesticating in the U.K., so why not Canada? Canadian Geographic. Available at: (Accessed: 18 October 2023).


Dugatkin, L.A. (2018) The silver fox domestication experiment - Evolution: Education and Outreach, BioMed Central. Available at: (Accessed: 18 October 2023).

Church, S. (2022) London’s Foxes: Urban Menace or Misunderstood?, Evening Standard. Available at: (Accessed: 18 October 2023).

Domestication syndrome (2023) Wikipedia. Available at: 18 October 2023).

 “Antennae: Journal of Nature in Visual Culture”. (2023).

 “Arts of Noticing: Panel Discussion with Deborah Gordon, Anne Pringle, Donna Haraway andAnna Tsing.” (2014).

“Black Ecologies.” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (2023).

 “Environmental Humanities.” (2023).

 “Feral Atlas: The More-than-Human Anthropocene.” Curated and edited by Anna L. Tsing,Jennifer Deger, Alder Keleman Saxena, and Feifei Zhou (2021).


Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2015.

 Kirksey, Eben. The Multispecies Salon. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014.

Smith, Saad Sandy, and Cole Swanson. The Hissing Folly. Bowmanville, Ontario:

Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, 2020.

iNaturalist (2023): Canada ( ); UK ( )

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