Amy Youngs, Please Don’t Tap on the Glass.
In this installation, Youngs presents a live video stream from her project The Museum For Insects, currently on view at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts. Visit the museum online at: http://hypernatural.com/museum/visit.html
More about this Project:
Located inside the Peabody Essex Museum, an insect-sized museum that features artwork specifically created for house crickets. Inside, crickets can interact with hands-on/legs-on exhibits, enjoy food and drink from the café and experience live humans, both through a picture window and through a videophone chat that connects the Museum for Insects to the humans visiting the Peabody Essex Museum. Humans visiting us from the internet can visit our live webcam, and can activate a cricket puppet and electronic chirping instruments located within.
If an eagle dies in a nest and there is no webcam audience watching, did it happen? Does it matter?
Jon Mooallem tells the story of the EagleCam that caused an incredible citizen action to unfold. While Minnesota Department of Natural Resources thought it best to let nature take its course, the public outcry went all the way to the governor’s office. Letting a baby eagle die in the nest, while his two siblings thrived, just looked terrible and had to be stopped. Thanks, one woman wrote, for “not making us suffer watching it die. I’m not up for that learning experience.”
“Could chickens raised in close confinement live more humane lives if they experienced them virtually?” Artist Austin Stewart explores this question in his project, Second Livestock. Utilizing the virtual reality system, Occulus Rift, he creates a system for ”Virtually Free Range" chickens. His project purports to have an animal-centered design in mind and a deep concern for the welfare of livestock animals.
The concept for this work was originally developed while he was a graduate student in the Art and Technology program at the Ohio State University. He has not tested it out on chickens, stating that there could be ethical problems, such as the fact that the chickens cannot consent to the research. Counteracting traditional animal testing protocols, his tests have been carried out on humans instead.
More information in this article in the Ames Tribune “ISU design professor envisions virtual reality lives for farm animals”
And on the Second Livestock website.
Animals are exceptionally complicated things. So complicated, in fact, that we’ve never actually built one ourselves. But the day is fast approaching when we’ll be able to create digital versions of organisms on a computer — from the way they move right through to their behaviors. Here’s how we’ll do it.
This movie is screen captured from the live webcam of a stage set outdoors in Norway, where it is being broadcast by NRK as Piip-show.
Watching birds and squirrels on live webcam is most compelling when the feeding station is a miniature bar scene. For the art museum version of this concept of “live animal webcam set in human worlds”, visit The Museum for Insects.
Dolphin whistle instantly translated by computer. Perhaps showing the beginning of machine-learning techniques that can help us understand animals?
Farjay Studios out of Portland, Oregon is making a video game that let’s viewers experience a virtual world as a bear. Looks like you will be able to see your little bear paws out in front of you as you catch salmon and chase bunnies. They have a Kickstarter campaign going right now to raise money for this project.
With their slow, mechanical pace — as compared to the humanised drama of nature documentary — webcams meticulously show ordinary physical activities. Animals sniff, peck at branches, graze, take a mud bath, drink or respond to cold or wind by putting up their fur or feathers. Little or no narrative tensions lead away from these fundamental ways of interacting with their environment, which viewers recognise in their own bodies through visual and physical mimicry.
From the insightful article by Ike Kamphof, Linking Animal and Human Places: The Potential of Webcams for Species Companionship. She acknowledges the potential for objectification of animals through webcams, but also discusses the ways that webcams encourage a “haptic viewing” - a kind of active understanding and sense of “co-presence”. It is the sense that I am with this bird right now as she sits on her eggs, though it is a different place, it is the same time. Being with.
Of course, it would be wonderful if our understanding of animals, and/or the technology, was advanced enough to provide the animals with something of ourselves that they would appreciate. Not sure what that is yet.
The Museum for Insects, is an artwork that attempts to guess at what they could be. In it, crickets are provided with miniaturized webcam images of humans and artworks and sound pieces designed for them, but it is hard to know if they care or notice much. Do the crickets respond to the humans on the human cam?
In a cruel trick of evolution, humans can stand just three feet from a ferocious animal and still be perfectly safe. This hour, Radiolab goes to the zoo.
What’s with our need to get close to “wildness”? We examine where we stand in this paradox—starting with the Romans, and ending in the wilds of Belize, staring into the eyes of a wild jaguar.