The Collector’s Gaze and the Naturalist’s Gaze

Latest post from the new website, on zoo spectatorship and the spectatorship of remote camera viewing of wildlife…

Anthrozoological Explorations

As part of research for an anthrozoology module, I looked at the spectatorship of remote camera viewing of wildlife and the spectatorship that zoos often create. There are, of course, fundamental differences between the two experiences for both the nonhuman animals and the human spectators.  Animals are trapped in the zoo environment, while humans are visitors coming and going as they please.  At the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick, for example, the seabirds and seals may be captured by cameras for certain periods of time, but they have autonomy to enter and exit the frame, just as the humans visit and then leave, so there is a certain equality playing out in this respect.  The zoo experience for both human and nonhuman animal is embodied, while the remote camera viewing experience for the human is primarily disembodied, as visitors most often view wildlife via remote camera images, supplemented with…

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