Crazy Animal Attack Human (2015)

Each year, millions of people visit national parks across the world to view nature in its original state. However, the act of visiting these wilderness preserves, originally conceived in the United States as a method for citizens to experience the Romantic sublime, has been transformed in to a commercial venture designed to produce content for social media. Visitors now don expensive, excessive camping equipment and stalk wild animals to snap camera-phone pictures to document their wilderness experience for social media.

Crazy Animal Attack Human is a video comprised of appropriated clips of humans harassing animals and then reacting negatively to the violent fight-or-flight of the animals. Nature is a business: we pay to experience it and demand it to accept our encroachment. In each of these videos, the animals are seen as the aggressor and humans, particularly prodding children, as the victim.

Whispers of the prices of outdoor equipment murmur in the background, occasionally audible over audio of a woman talking of her amateur nature photography: “I went on a safari once… Busch Gardens,” “My iPhone gets really good pictures anyway,” and “I think mine’s better.” Occasionally, her self-indulgent stream of thought is interjected by the voice of a male reacting to the violent video clips. The juxtaposition of human expectations to ‘own’ the wilderness, to poke and prod it like a toy, with the cost of enjoying the outdoors questions the commercialization of the wildness. The end of the video asks, “So, uh, how much did you spend on that?” prompting the viewer to question the cultural competition to have the priciest and most photogenic experience with nature.