Introduction:

"Hunting Trophies" is a project showing a collection of eleven hunting trophies hung on the wall. These trophies are similar to those that hunters could exhibit proudly in their living room but here they are chests of robots.

Each robot has its own internal program which reacts with its outside environment thanks to its infrared sensor place on its chest. Thus they can detect the presence of one or more persons, but also their movements.

When a viewer is in front of this collection of robot species, the trophies are inactive. Their eyes are turned off, their head held high are still. But when a viewer approaches, the robots start to react. They turn their heads in his direction, their eyes light up, their mouths half-open they start growling.

The robots are able to eye the nearby person and turn their head in his direction. If we come closer the robot suddenly starts to growl and then it becomes more and more aggressive if we are too close.

When a person will walk fast facing this wall of trophies, a chain reaction will emerge such as a wave of protestation following his walk. The robots will remain calm when the room will be quiet or when people will stop moving.

Depending on the public activity the robots will be more or less active and aggressive because it is the point, showing their anger because they have been tracked, chased, killed cut up and exhibited as decorative icons.


 

some precisions:

After raising the side effects and dangers of cloning, eugenics, and other animal experiments in Dog[LAB]01 and Dog[LAB]02, I focus here on a much more concrete and closer problem because we have a fundamental role to play. We can’t ignore the problem anymore and withdraw ourselves from any responsibility by rejecting the unique and so-called fault on scientists and directors of laboratories or factories.

It is always surprising to see the unequal consideration given to animals and humans and even between different animals species. Depending on the culture the same animal can be either a pet, sacred or appreciated only for its flesh depending on the geographical location. Nobody would want to eat their pet, however the large majority don’t seem to see any problem in breeding animals for food or clothes, in hunting or doing experiments on them to create unnecessary, yet safe products.

The idea of the Animal-Machine has been overtaken for a long time now by the idea of a pain-feeling animal. Peter Singer argues that because animals have the ability to experience pain and suffering, they should be afforded the same moral considerations as any other sentient being. We can say he really liberated animals and even if I don’t subscribe to its extreme utilitarian vision, I agree with the statement that the use of animals in medical research should be regulated in accordance with the principle of utility just like I condemn animal husbandry and intensive breeding. It is not because animal experiments in medicine are more legitimate that we can treat animals anyway we wish even if the happiness of the beneficiaries of the medical research far outweighs the pain of the subject according to Cohen.

Hunting cannot escape responsibility and although stripped of any efficiency and profits principle, we cannot legitimate it by any utility principle. I rather dispute pain and cruelty to animals and question human power of life and death over animals.

Nowadays, after asking ourselves if animals are suffering we ask ourselves if animals think and if they can be the subject of moral concern, which thus is blurring the boundaries between human and animal. Maybe should we wonder if humans have tamed animals or if animals have adapted themselves to humans? (i.e. Dominque Lestel’s theory in “l’animal singulier”).

We can say that my concerns are similar to those which motivate bio-Art or transgenic-Art in general, with the difference that I do it in a metaphorical way with my robots, I don’t use genetic engineering or living being as a medium for artistic expression like SymbioticA, Eduardo Kac, Stelarc, Marta de Menezes, Art Orienté Objet … but rather questionings on the relation between Human and Animal and Human and Non-Human.

I try to grant them back for a moment the right to life, to free expression and to judgment.

In this installation we can also observe that the fact these animals are robots raises other matters. Even though here they are used as a medium to express questionings about animals rights, and as a kind of representation, they are still robots and thus bring new interrogations about their quality, their function and their integration into society.

Therefore we could ask ourselves about the fact these species are robots. Are they different robot’s species? How many? Some rare species? Facing extinction? How are they classified? Are they the testimony of a future world where androids would be facing extinction? Or else where they would have supplanted real animals such as Philip K.Dick‘s famous vision? Might we soon need a Susan Calvin, the famous robopsychologist from Isaac Asimov’s novels? Let us be aware that AIBO clinic (Sony’s robot dog) already exists…! Like Frédéric Kaplan is doing it in his book: "Machines apprivoisées" (tamed machines), we could also ask ourselves about the place that these strange creatures could have one day in our society. But also… Can we kill robots? With more impunity than animals? Which ones have and will have more value? More respect? More rights? As many questions which remain answerless and which are not ready to find a clear and unanimous answer.

 

The trophies:

The trophies are made out of I-Cybie robots, and not of Sony’s famous Aibo, which already have a programming software. As to the hacking process required to reprogram these robots, it is exactly the same method that I already used for Dog[LAB]01, the programs here are of course different. The legs are removed, the shell remolded in resin, the horns added, and all the morphological modifications required according to the specie. The wooden panel is cut, chamfered and varnished such as the ones used for classical hunting trophies.


The different species:

The 11 trophies include 11 different species. There are the most frequent species used in taxidermy for the realization of wall trophies, mainly deer and cat family.

 

CERVUS ELAPHUS BARBARUS
(North Africa Deer)

private collection

AEPYCEROS MELAMPU
(Impala)

ANTILOPINAE
(Antelope)
private collection
ALCES
(Moose)

RHINOCEROS UNICORNIS
(Asian Rhinoceros)

PANTHERA LEO
(Lion)
private collection
PANTHERA PARDUS
(Leopard)
private collection
PANTHERA TIGRIS
(Tiger)
private collection
LYNX RUFUS
(Bobcat)
EQUUS BURCHELLII
(Burchell Zebra)
PHACOCHOERUS AFRICANUS
(African Warthog)

 

 
SPINA SOLO
 
SPINA FAMILY

 

Fonctionning:

Each robot can:

- Turn off or on its eyes in red, orange or green.
- Turn its head on the left and on the right
- Move up and down its head, the neck is movable.
- Open and close its mouth.
- Emit any kind of sounds and growls.

When a viewer stands in front of the trophies, the robots are inactive. Their eyes are turned off, their head held high are still. But when a viewer approaches, the robots start to react. They turn their heads in his direction, their eyes light up, their mouths half-open they start growling.

The robots are able to eye the nearby person and turn their head in his direction. If we come closer the robot suddenly starts to growl and then it becomes more and more aggressive if we are too close.

When a person will walk fast facing this wall of trophies, a chain reaction will emerge such as a wave of protestation following his walk. The robots will remain calm when the room will be quiet or when people will stop moving.

Depending on the public activity the robots will be more or less active and aggressive because it is the point, showing their anger because they have been tracked, chased, killed cut up and exhibited as decorative icons.

Spina Solo:
Spina Solo is a trophy made of a robotic tail. It shows the opposite side of the animal, but which one…
This tail starts waging up and down when a viewer approaches. The speed increases as the viewer comes closer.

Spina Family:
Spina Family is composed by 13 tails, which are however not immediately identifiable as such. These simple organisms can suggest tails, but fingers as well, or tongs.. or a spine.
It is more about the idea of simples animals living in swarm (waging up and down, only speed and amplitude are variable) generating a more complex group behaviour.
As a viewer approaches, a short pre-programmed sequence is played, such as a dialogue between the different tails, or a group behaviour such as a wave, or a more rhythmic sequence.

 

Installation:

 


VIA Festival - 2008


Solo exhibtition "Curiosité Artificielle"(artificial curiosity) Numersicausa Gallery - Paris - 2008

Exhibition at Black Box Gallery - Linz -Austria - 2009


Exhibition "Nouveaux Monstres" (new monsters) Saint Sauveur Station - Lille - 2009

 

Video:

   

TV report by Bulle d'Art
Report about the exhibition "Dessine-moi un Mutant"
La Scène numérique - Aix-en-Provence - France - 2009

See the video on Youtube

Website of Bulle d'Art TV reports: www.bulledart.fr

 

Hunting Trophies © France CADET

short video sample

 

Hunting Trophies © France CADET

Exhibition view VIA & EXIT 2008

 

Spina Family © France CADET

Exhibition view "Curiosité artificielle" (artificial curiosity)
Numeriscausa Gallery - Paris 2008

 

 

Report by Véronique Godé for Arte.tv

See the report in full size
Read the article

 

Sample of interview realized by Véronique Godé

Full article and videos on the website: Fluctuat.Net

 

 

 

Partnerships:

Project supported by Seconde Nature

 

--> "Hunting Trophies" in the press:
- "Slick, Fiac, Show off et autre diva" - Arte tv - Véronique Godé - 3 November 2008
- "Curiosité Artificielle" - Arte tv - Véronique Godé - 20 october 2008.

- "Entrez dans Exit" : Véronique Godé - Fluctuat Net - April 2008.
-
"Des festivals qui décoiffent." : Avantages - April 2008.
-
"De l'hybride dans l'Art." : Cathy Blisson - Sortir Telerama - 26 March 2008.
- "Un festival qui bouleversera vos sens" : Guy Duplat - La Libre - 26 March 2008.
- "Un réel peut en cacher un autre" : Jean-Marie Wynants - Le Soir - 21 March 2008.
- "Via: bain électro" : Marie Lechner - Libération - 18 March 2008.
- "Zoom : Portraits-robots de trophées": Astrid Girardeau - Ecrans - Libération - 17 March 2008.
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"Les manipulations robotiques de France Cadet." : Cathy Blisson - Sortir Telerama - 27 February 2008.
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"Exhibit proposes new amenities for downtown life." : Kurt Shaw - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - 24 February 2008.
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"Art Review: 'Urban Living' gadgets electrify" : Mary Thomas - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - 6 February 2008.
--> "Hunting Trophies" sur Internet:
- "Hunting Trophies" : We Make Money Not Art - Régine Debatty - 29 February 2008 (english)
- "Robot taxidermy provokes thoughts, awwws" : Engadget - 29 February 2008 (english)
- "Robotic Hunting Trophies – Every wall should have one" : Gizmodo - 29 February 2008 (english)
- "Show Those Robots Who’s Boss With A Hunting Trophy" : Oh Gizmo - 29 February 2008 (english)