IN AN EXHIBIT AT THE CLUI, Los Angeles, called On the Farm: Live Stock Footage by Livestock, farm animals showed us their point of view, through wireless video cameras installed temporarily on their head and necks by virtuoso animal and plant videographer Sam Easterson. Easterson’s technology enables a cow, a pig, a goat, a chicken, a sheep, and a horse to guide us around their world; what they look at, what catches their attention, how they move through space, and how they relate to one another, on the farm.
Sam Easterson’s enterprise, called Animal, Vegetable, Video, endeavors to create the world’s largest library of video footage that has been captured from the perspective of animals, plants and the environments they inhabit. The company creates its video footage by outfitting wild animal and plants with ‘helmet-mounted’ video cameras. It also installs micro video cameras deep inside animal and plant habitats. All video footage that Animal, Vegetable, Video collects becomes part of its extensive video library.
Though Easterson has put cameras on everything from armadillos to scorpions, he had to acquire additional footage of farm animals for the Center’s exhibit, in order to be able to represent the principal animals you would find on a farm. “Since the Center is not a natural history-based organization, we had to see Sam’s work in the context of land use, and the animal husbandry idea was where we found a common theme,” said CLUI curator Sarah Simons.
Sam Easterson was invited to present his work at the Center as part of the Independent Interpreter program, where unique documentarians and archivists of the landscape are given a forum to show and talk about their work at the Center. On December 6, Mr. Easterson gave a lecture about his work, and took questions from a capacity audience at the Center’s exhibit space in Los Angeles.