Lost Tracking

Lost Tracking questions how dioramas are another marginalized representation of animals. In reality, animals disappear everywhere, but their human representations keep multiplying. We see them in museums or through the glass of digital screens—but these are all merely representations of the originals. Animals don’t belong to reality; they live in hyperreality. They have disappeared through the society of the spectacle. Natural history museums have introduced us to other species in a subjective way, based on political and economic interests as Donna Haraway states in her book “Teddy Bear Patriarchy”.

According to Haraway dioramas tell as much about the society that created them as they do about the worlds they represent, referring to Carl Akeley’s work for the American Museum of Natural History:

“His picturesque animal family tableaux and hierarchies reflect the conceptions of race, gender, and class during Roosevelt’s presidency. Dioramas were the response to the irruption of socialism, feminism and an increase in the immigrant population that threatened the domain of the Caucasian North American majority”

Lost Tracking is a contemporary interpretation of traditional dioramas. They are a representation of a representation, where the copy loses the connection with the origin. Taxidermied animals have been 3D scanned and then using 3D modelling software, their environments have been mapped with photographs of their natural habitats but on a different axis. The images show the glitches of the 3D scanner while tracking the animals. These distorted representations aim to challenge the audience about how science and technology have modelled our perception of other species.