In my project The Landscape Seen Through Animal Eyes, I explore the way in which different animals see the world, using pinhole cameras that I have built myself. What does the environment look like through the eyes of a bird, a rodent, a fish, or a moose, for instance?
The pinhole camera is a primitive form of camera, where an image is created with the greatest possible simplicity, without the aid of lenses or other advanced technology. The image is produced as light passes through a small pinhole into a dark box which contains light-sensitive paper or film. In building my cameras, I have tried to take into account the structure and functioning of the eye of each different animal as far as the pinhole technique will allow it. I have also chosen the locations on each animal's eye level in its natural habitat. The animal world offers a new perspective on the landscape around us: the opportunity to peek out of a vole's tunnel, dive under water, hide in the underbrush or view the foliage through the eyes of a moose. Even so, this work is not to be confused with biological research, nor does it directly replicate the visual perceptions of these animals.
Using these animalcams has been a journey of discovery for me - a rare chance to take an eye I have built, put it in a place where people normally cannot go and then look at the images that emerge. In addition to photographing the surroundings, I have also used my own cameras to photograph myself, the photographer who intrudes on the domestic peace of these animals, and in the animalcam images I come across as a strange apparition indeed. In this way, I comment on nature photographers' gadget-fixation and their sometimes voyeuristic approach to animal behaviour.
Exhibition in Amos Andnerson Museum, Helsinki (2002)
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