Hermione Spriggs

Hermione Spriggs is a Yorkshire-born artist and researcher working between the fields of art and anthropology. Whilst often engaging in collaboration with other artists and specialists external to the art world, her own research is dedicated to articulating and propagating a practice-based field known as The Anthropology of Other Animals (“AoOA”). AoOA has developed in alliance with The Political Animal Reading Group (The Showroom, London/ Dublin); ESTAR(SER); Land Art Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar/ Berlin), Mildred’s Lane (Pennsylvania) and Emerging Subjects of the New Economy at University College London. As a protocol for making and distributing arts and anthropologies (both of and for ourselves as ‘other animals’), AoOA poaches methodologies from hunters and trap-setters with the aim to establish a recursive and ecological relationship to the social and natural environments it inhabits.

As with ‘the trap’, the working structure AoOA embraces paradox and the cacophony that inevitably arrives as a bi-product of dedicated experimentation with hard to access perspectives, languages and worlds. As a practice AoOA is necessarily thrifty and adaptable: shunning dogmatism of all forms it is nonetheless concerned with responsibilities and awarenesses that involve the non-human environment, and more specifically those hard-to-access, invisible, elusive or supernatural knowledges that are often overlooked by “environmentalisms” elsewhere. As a project of ‘making art like a trapper’, AoOA is above all a means of staying with the trouble.

  • Drawing for AoOA is not a drawing of or a drawing about. It is a drawing in.

  • Sculpture for AoOA exists in the negative as a practice of recursion. A process of doubling, of doing-away-with, of emptying out, of gapping the fill.

  • Performance for AoOA is a hunt. A dowsing for openings, fissures and escape routes from the structural confinement of speciated existence.

As a test-space and colloquy AoOA works towards a more expansive, elastic and sustainable platform for these modes of production and future anthropologies of other animals.

The book mentioned in the interview was by Christiana Ritter ‘A woman in the Polar Night

UURGA SHIG (What is it like to be a lasso?) – excerpt from hermione spriggs on Vimeo

For the Land Art Mongolia Biennial (2014) Hermione Spriggs co-habited with a Mongolian pole lasso called the uurga. She attempted the impossible task of becoming this lasso, which is used by herdsmen to reign in wild horses on the Mongolian Steppe and to communicate with the horses they are riding. The uurga lasso also extends further into human language and practices of fortune – for instance to be uurga-shig (literally “lasso-like” in Mongolian) refers to the practice of a man chasing a woman into marriage. The resulting work teases and inverts the assumptions of permanence associated with Western land art, and reflects upon the artist’s primary association with the lasso that is native to the Adobe Photoshop toolbar.
Presented as a two-channel video captured from the point of view of both the rider and the horse at once, here the viewer is invited to step into the space of the lasso, negotiating between the perspectives of human and animal.
LUCK IN THE DOUBLE FOCUS, Artist book (a mobius strip comic). Hand tinted Xerox on acid free paper, Mongolian felt, greyboard. Edition of 15 (#s 1-3 with musical triangle)
Concert of a-lure, video and live performance, Hermione Spriggs + Laura Cooper 2017

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  1. […] Hermione Spriggs is a London-based artist. Her work bridges the worlds of art and anthropology. Currently, she is working on a curatorial project for University College London. Spriggs facilitates an exchange between five researchers studying the Mongolian economy, taking their anthropological research and translating it to artists who will use the information in new work. Spriggs herself spent time on the Mongolian Steppe learning to work with an Uurga–or Mongolian Lasso–a long staff used to reign in horses. Much of Spriggs’ work revolves around a self-described obsessive focus on a single object as in the case of the Uurga. For this project, she attached cameras to the Uurga itself recording the experience of the object. Spriggs spent her time in Mongolia fully immersed in the community and culture of the Steppe. Spriggs considers herself an “object-centered” researcher. […]