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Companion Species

The term “Companion Species” was coined by Donna Haraway who examined a very particular relationship between human beings and animals – specifically domesticated animals. A relationship, which according to Haraway, is built on a “significant otherness.” A similar relationship, says the author, also exists between the cyborg and the human, something she talked about in her renowned “Cyborg Manifesto,” which is a text that is much more widely known than her writings on the relationship between animals and humans. For me, her notion of “companion species” resonates far more strongly than the “cyborg manifesto,” although I do of course acknowledge the importance of that text.

A while ago I redesigned the logotype of the alpha.tribe store in SL. And, I tried to use “companion species” as a concept for the new design since it seemed to me that the output of the store sort of reflects this. It is an amalgam of human, cyborg and animal. There are 3 critters in the new logo that represent the three members of the triad – human, animal and cyborg. And then, while I was playing around with the mockups last month I had this idea of adapting the logo to a full branding project. And not just one branding, but 4. One that the companions built together, and then one for every companion.

The collaboration. More here >>>

Things designed by the Animal. More here >>>

Things designed by the Human. More here >>>

Things designed by the Cyborg. More here >>>

In many ways this is a continuation of the idea behind the fashion designer avatars of alpha.tribe: There is not just one designer but many designers – all of whom are, of course, me. So again, it is me playing with “me, myself, and I.”

So, that was the first level of play that happened. However, equally important was playing with the mockups with which you conjure all these household objects, food packages, furnishings, and whatnot. I said this before, it is really like playing with a doll’s house. And I really had a whale of a time putting all this stuff together. Having the “companions” make bedrooms and cake displays, cosmetic sets and fine liqueur bottles, tshirts and roller blades. To the extent that I am feeling somewhat lost now that it is all done.

Gotta find something else now…


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