Smart Parks is well aware of the dilemmas that arise when talking about applying technology to nature. We are always open for reflection. We believe that we need to find a balance in everything. More technology is not the solution to every challenge – in many cases it could even be the opposite.

This interactive documentary provides a critical reflection on many of the technological solutions we as Smart Parks develop and provide for the protection of wildlife.

Bear 71

Bear 71 is the true story of a female grizzly bear monitored by the wildlife conservation offices from 2001 – 2009.

She lived her life under near constant surveillance and was continually stressed by the interactions with the human world. She was tracked and logged as data, reflecting the way we have to see the world around us through Tron and Matrix-like filters, qualifying and quantifying everything, rather than experiencing and interacting.

Leanne Allison sifted through thousands of photos from motion-triggered cameras from this project. The grainy images gathered over the past 10 years by various scientists reveal the hidden life of the forest, played out by the animals and humans – including Bear 71 – captured covertly on film.

Bear 71’s story is consistently played out in places all over the globe where humans and wildlife intersect – from cougars in Nova Scotia to Bears in suburban Vancouver to Bear culls in New Jersey.

It highlights how our growing dependence on technology divorces us from nature, even while allowing us to keep closer tabs on it. It raises questions about how we view nature, how we view ourselves in relation to technology and nature, and the nature and validity of surveillance both in the wild, and within human society.