Frequently Asked Questions

We've answered some of the most frequently asked questions here, if you have any more questions or comments about the work please use the forum.

So why must I pay to join?

Good question. We are used to accessing certain types of on-line information and entertainment at no (obvious) charge, but should artworks also be cost free? Dogs' Ears was conceived almost 5 years ago and it has taken the artist months to create it. In the past a painter might have had one or two very wealthy patrons to support their working practice, and more recently government and commercial organisations have subsidised the arts, which means in both cases the patron could influence and determine the nature of an artist's output, and the public (and often the artist) has little say over which work gets funded.

Selling contemporary artwork that uses technology is pretty difficult, the nature of the medium means work is infinitely reproducable (yay), or if installed often site-specific or temporary. Artists working in this realm need a new financing model to work with and the Internet provides the perfect platform for this to happen - if many art lovers contribute minor amounts, artists can build not only a fund to help them continue to work but a interested and discerning audience.

The real patron is you, the audience. By signing up to Dogs' Ears you choose to endorse the creation of future artwork that you want to be made by this artist. You have the opportunity to decide what gets commissioned and even to co-own the art directly - cutting out the middle man, allieviating the need for the artist to look to lumbering great public or private bureaucracies for support.

However, not everyone will agree with this, but will still want to view these gorgeous dogs chatting, so the option to donate to charity has been included. Of course you can always donate to both by going directly to the Hearing Dogs website after becoming a Patron!

What do members get?

The site has four tiers of Patronship so people can contribute depending on pocket size. Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond (Limited Edition). Each Patron will receive an e-certificate and will become co-owners of the music created by the Dogs' Ear-Music-Extraction System.

Patrons that chose to donate their Patronship fee to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity will become on-line members of the website, but not owners of the future generated artwork. This enables those who wish to contribute to a pet charity to still enjoy chatting to the dogs and becoming part of the Dogs' Ears community. Of course at a later date you can always upgrade your subscription.

What is the future art work?

The piece of work that the Dogs' Ears website is raising funding for is a work that creates music from the movement of a variety of dogs' ear flaps. The work will use high tech video cameras to capture dogs' ears flapping at high speed, the video footage recorded will be analysed and the delicate flapping motions will be mapped to sound - creating music from the dogs' ears. The artist is interested in the translation of natural movement and rhythm into sound and animation and the Ear-Music-Extraction System will take this development of the work further. More information about her work is here: juliefreeman.co.uk

How will I know how much money has been raised?

This website will be updated so that all members of the Patron Fund can see how much has been raised. All members will receive periodic email newsletters informing them how the fund is progressing. In the event that the Patron Fund becomes very popular a formal co-op style organisation will be formed and additional funds will be used to commission other art works proposed and voted on by the members.

I only see strange characters when I chat to some of the dogs. Why is this?

Most of our dogs speak in their own language and some of these languages require a special font to be installed on your computer to display properly. If you are seeing ??????? or [] [] [] [] then the font is missing from your system. Many fonts can be downloaded for free here.

Languages spoken: Nagesa - Lugandan, Guido - Spanish, Meko - Japanese, Ashur - Arabic, Czarus - Polish, Francesca - Italian, Naomi - Brazilian Portuguese, Andrea - Russian, Rani - Hindu, Julay-ay - Philippino, Sophia - Georgian, Fredrika - Swedish, Pascal - French, Erdem - Turkish

I love the logo and want to buy a pet food bowl with it on. Where can I find one?

We've had so many requests that we opened a store! www.cafepress.com/dogsears

I have more questions. Where do I ask them...

Post them to the forum or email woof@dogsears.net and we'll get back to you!