Degreecoordinates, shared traits of the Hominini (humans, bonobos and chimpanzees), 2018
In collaboration with Volker Sommer
Edition of 26, 568pp, 26.5 × 20 × 4.2cm
Publication commissioned by Turner Contemporary on the occasion of Animals and Us, 2018
Degreecoordinates... was commissioned and produced by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, HKW, Berlin, Germany as part of the exhibition Ape Culture.
Design by Modern Activity
Available from: Kate MacGarry, London
The publication is a further presentation of the original wall based work. The 568 page book features one question per double page spread.
The work presents a catalog of questions about traits of our behaviour and anatomy. As it is, the same answers are possible for all members of what biologists call 'Hominini' – a 'tribe’ of apes that includes humans, bonobos and chimpanzees. Thus, possible responses do not define differences between these species, challenging the idea that humans are 'unique'. Instead, the mixture of answers highlights distinctions and similarities between individual members of the Hominini, never mind their species. Our replies hence reveal personal cultural boundaries that we share with some human or non-human apes, but not others.
Differences are of degree, not of kind (Charles Darwin).
Volker Sommer is Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology in the University of London. His research interests focus on the evolution of primate social and sexual behaviour, cognition, rituals, biodiversity conservation, animal rights and evolutionary ethics.