The Paleontology of Chris Wildrick Is Overrated: The Dinosaur Mating Game, 2006-present. Performed at the Surplus Gallery at SIUC and several galleries and schools in Ithaca and Syracuse, NY. Exhibited at the Surplus Gallery, the Redhouse and XL Projects in Syracuse, NY, and the Museum of the Earth, Ithaca, NY.


The Dinosaur Mating Game is played by matching up each of 12 dinosaurs with the dinosaur you think they would be most likely to mate with, other than their own species. It has been presented in two formats: as a poster on the wall in galleries, on which participants can directly draw their "mating lines" directly next to everyone else's (see above for a picture of it before it was drawn on), and as a handout, on which everyone gets to draw their own results individually.

Once again, the results were surprisingly strong; several pairs of dinosaurs were clearly seen as being as "best mates."

The results bring two things into question: how people chose each dinosaur's best mate, and why we choose relationships ourselves--is it personality? Looks? Something else? What connections might lie between these two forms of selection? The results once again seem to say as much about ourselves as they do about dinosaurs; the analysis seems to indicate that mates were chosen primarily through visual cues.

The book, below, has the full set of charts and analysis.


Documentation:

The book, with the complete data and its analysis, is available here:

See this page, which collects all the paleontology books, for more photographs of the book.

(Chris recommends that you view the book PDFs on Acrobat, and that under View > Page Display, you select "Two-Up Continuous" and "Show Cover Page During Two-Up" for the full book experience. "Two-Up Continuous" shows the both the left- and right-hand pages in a spread together on your screen. "Show Cover Page During Two-Up" makes the first page of the book show as a single page on the right-hand side, thus making sure that all the following pages are shown in their correct pairings, like pages 2 and 3, pages 4 and 5, etc. Doing this will ensure that you see the book the way Chris designed it, with various visual and informational relationships existing between the left- and right-hand pages.)

 

You can also download one version of the form in its poster format, which also includes an early version of the analysis:

 

Pictures of the installation version of the project. In this version, each participant took a crayon from one jar to draw all their lines, then discarded it in the used-crayon jar, so that the lines could be analyzed not only by mating pairs, but also by participant. The last two images show the chart as it appeared in-process on two different occasions:

 

 

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