Social Encounters reflects a collaborative effort by the Lane family. The work examines the landscape and social encounters from the K-9 perspective. After experimenting with a flip camera and sequence, I decided to research where to purchase a pet video camera. I found the Eyenimal, manufactured in Paris, France. Our dogs Bridget Riley and Natalie Jane took all videos, video stills and source images exhibited. Large drawings from the K-9's perspective are depicted in graphite with a limited palette to aid in conveying their dichromatic view.
Sometime in July 2010 the collaboration grew. It all started when Bridget Riley, our basset hound got a new collar, which was too thin, loose and floppy for attaching the camera. We overlooked this obstacle, strapped the camera to her collar and proceeded for our walk, out-back, in the Westminster Hills Dog Park. Our house backs up to this open space. When the gate opens from our backyard the girls are released into ecstasy or Disneyland for dogs.
The camera focused exclusively on the ground, requiring constant adjustment to her collar throughout the walk. Upon our return home, I noticed that she had lost the camera. We searched for a while to no avail. It was dusk, which made it even more impossible to see or find anything. I decided that I would get up early and search again the next morning. Again, no camera was to be found. We were forced to order a new one.
Six weeks later, a man came to my front door to return Bridget's camera. I had attached an identifying sticker with my address and phone number. He said that he found it in the park. I enthusiastically thanked him for it and volunteered its purpose. Though, he was not much interested and told me that it probably didn't work after all this time.
I quickly ran to my computer to plug it in and see if it still worked. To my surprise and thrill it did still work. Not only was it in good working condition there were nine new movies recorded on it. I opened each one and watched attentively to the contents. The camera told a visual story of its mischief for the unaccountable time away from home. Apparently, the man who returned the camera was not the first person who found it!
There were several movies of the man who returned the camera, his home, family and their dogs. They inspected the camera and tried to figure out what it was for and how it might work as if it had dropped from outer space. To his credit, the camera has a touchy on and off switch. He was unaware of his documentation. In addition, an hour movie of the cloudy dark sky from the moment it toppled off Bridget's collar to the day a man and his dog found it and took it to the front gate of the dog park. There it sat for weeks. Each person who came to inspect this little camera made the rest of the movies. 'Eyenimal' sat at the gate in the hot beating sun, rain and wind and through day and night, until the man with five Rat Terriers brought him home.
I was so excited that now each of the girls had their own videocam. By this time, Bridget had a new and improved collar. So my husband, Terry strapped on the cameras and took them to the park. Natalie decided to go swimming in the dogs' swimming hole and that was the death of our first little adventurous 'Eyenimal', if only it would have been waterproof, we would have had some awesome footage.
The departed camera and the many unknowing park collaborators shot the cloud video.