In this video documentation, Bear’s-Eye-View is taken to pet stores and a zoo to capture footage of animals. Through the eyes of the teddy bear, there is a discomfort of being able to only see so much of the environment and not being able to move closer. The view of the bear demonstrates the idea of animals being unable to escape the conditions they have been forced into, like make-up testing and zoos.

Ready for the Field 

After the numerous steps taken to conceptualize and create a design that would optimize my message of animal abuse, a final product has been completed and ready to move on to the next stage of documentation.

Composed of three parts, the bear, which is the main focal point of the piece, is made out of five different animals to examine and point out experimentation and genetic manipulation on animals. Inside the bear is an Activeon camera that connects to an app within a chosen phone. The bear with a camera for an eye will be taken into the field to capture conditions of animals to bring up questions about animal treatment in zoos and pet stores. Video footage can be seen in the phone as it is transmitted and recorded by the bear. The phone sits in a TV holder that mimics the idea of Nam June Paik’s TV Buddha. The TV holder has been painted in a combination of a black and purple paint to give it a darker feeling. The design and painted button placement also mimics an older TV. The purpose of the look is meant to symbolize the ideas of how long animal mistreatment has been occurring. The bear can be seen facing the TV, which will be showing images that the bear captures during the time it is taken to the field. Both the bear and the TV sit within a cage, which acts a completing component to the piece about abuse.

Project Progression

For the telepistomologic themie, I have finally gathered items and started to put together the final structure. At the moment I have most of the main components completed (bear, cage, tv). To finish the project, I need to work out the camera and the wifi connection it has been having trouble with, and I have to sand and paint the tv.

3D Renders for Bear’s-Eye-View

After reconsidering a design that would optimize the message and project idea, my new telepistomologic themie has been rendered. As seen in the first image of a bear with multiple types of body parts to display animal experimentation, a hidden camera can be seen in it’s left eye. Mimicking a nanny cam bear, this object will now be the main tool for recording my footage. A pet store cage is what is depicted in the second image, and that is where the bear will be stored. Inside is a TV holder for a phone, which will be linked to the bear’s eye. It is here where the images will be transmitted to in order to see the cruel treatment of animals. Despite being placed in a pet store for the renders, my device will be taken to various locations, like pet stores, the zoo, or any other stores that have animals. For this project, I want to capture clear video footage of animals and fish in the environments they are forced into. I want to bring awareness to animal cruelty and the inhumane treatment of animals.

Bear’s-Eye-View (A Telepistomologic Themie) Proposal

After doing more research on artists and the inhumane treatment of animals, I have witnessed many images and artworks that have made me emotional and inspired, and these artists and activists started to make me think of ways to reflect these emotions in a place for a recording device. Although their projects were not activist art for the cause I am using my recording device for, I was inspired by the projects of Nam June Paik, Philippe Starck, and Naritaka Satoh. Directly related to the goals of my project, I was moved by a demonstration done by Jacqueline Traide and the words on PETA’s website. Jacqueline Traide did a demonstration in London, where she took the place of an animal being experimented on and endured the feeding and testing process in front of people passing by. The images were hard to watch, but the idea that she can go home in the end and the animals will never get to go home and eventually die really struck me. In addition to that, PETA’s home page discussed the idea of animals being stuck in a prison that cannot be escaped. With all these visuals and words, I wanted to create a mix between a device that can be taken around and a home for the device when it returns to after videoing the conditions of pet stores or zoos. Through this project, I really want to capture the innocent lives being trapped and abused. I want to bring awareness about their conditions.

For the object that holds my recording device, I decided to use a teddy bear. The reason is when I was researching spy cameras and hidden cameras I became fascinated with the idea of the bear nanny cam. It seems so harmless, yet it is recording every movement of unsuspecting bystanders. After researching small cameras, I found an extremely tiny camera with 0.3 inches for the length of the lens. I thought this was perfect size to fit within the eye of a teddy bear. The camera is attached to a longer cable that holds wires and the equipment for charging. Therefore, I decided if the eye goes in the head of the bear, I can add a velcro or zipper to the back of the bear for easy access to charge the camera.  Inspired by Philippe Starck Teddy Bear Band, where he takes different stuffed animals heads and sews them together, I thought this  would be a perfect idea to reflect the message of experimentation. For the bear, I would like to gather different animals to stitch them together to convey this message.

Because the camera directly links to the phone to display images, I thought about tying the phone and camera together into a single project. I developed a TV to hold the phone, which is explained in the next image.

Inspired by Nam June Paik’s TV Buddha and the idea of self-realization, I wanted to make a layout that allows viewers to look at the phone screen that monitors the images and actions of the camera inside the bear. By having direct access to the camera images, the pet stores and conditions of animals can be viewed.

Housing the phone and a place to store the bear when its work is done for the day, I developed a cage that mirrors the words of PETA and also takes on the dark atmosphere of a trapped stuffed animal, like in Naritaka Satoh’s Black Shadow Piece. In a way, this is a visual extension of the ideas I want to display through the video footage.