Marisa Pushee is an Oakland-based artist, activist and writer. A native of Massachusetts, Marisa received her BA from Hampshire College where she studied studio arts, cultural anthropology and human-animal relations. Prior to attending CCA, she worked with captive-bred wolves and wolf dogs rescued from the exotic pet trade. Marisa currently works with the gorilla Koko at The Gorilla Foundation. Her interests lie in animal liberation, prison abolition and prisoner support, interspecies communication, art education, and implementing an intersectional approach to social justice.
- 10.17.2013 / Marisa Pushee to Present at 3rd EU Conference for Critical Animal Studies in Germany
- 9.6.2013 / Watch Marisa Pushee Present at Annual VCS Symposium
- 8.20.2013 / Sightlines Essays from VCS Class of 2013 Now Available
About Marisa Pushee’s Thesis Project
The Hand That Grasps: Anthropomorphism in Visual Representations of Nonhuman Animals
Through an examination of Britta Jaschinski’s photographs of nonhuman animals and the 1978 October cover of National Geographic featuring a photograph of Koko the gorilla, this project investigates the role of anthropomorphism in visual representations of nonhuman animals. Recognition of the otherness of nonhuman animals—the idea that they are not less than human but entities for whom we have no access to a unified “Truth”—becomes crucial in constructing interspecies relations based on accountability. Within this postmodern and post-human framework, unlearning usurps systemization. Accounting for the nonhuman animal’s mode of being as something intangible to the human becomes critical in order for we human animals to embrace the unknown and enter into relationships founded on mutual respect with other species.