67 Bows
Pereg, Nira
2006 / 600
Germany
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The video entitled 67 bows has the look of an objective sociological study on the collective behavior of birds in response to sound stimuli. We see a group of flamingos filtering food from the water in an interior compound at a zoo. The peaceful scene is abruptly disturbed by the sounds of a gun being cocked and fired. The birds’ reaction, the sudden collective retraction of their heads, is captured from different camera perspectives as the film proceeds. The shots are heard at irregular intervals. During the quiet phases between discharges of the weapon, the birds go about their usual activities. After a while, the flamingos cease to respond to the shots but instead duck their heads as soon as they hear the announcing sound of the gun being cocked – even when no shots follow. The behavior is predictable, a perfect example of Pavlovian conditioning. A given action produces a calculable reaction.

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Animal(s)         Recreation         Fear         Water         Violence