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CAPTIVECAM deals with animals kept in captivity under the guise of conservation efforts and public education while myriad related incidents and issues point to a corporate-industrial nexus set on profiting at the expense of these creatures.

CAPTIVECAM comprises screenshots created using the particular vantage point of the live-cam, made available to the public via internet by several zoological institutions all over the world. These live-cams permit dedicated, round-the-clock access to the captive animals, allowing viewers into the innermost chambers of the enclosures - areas that are impossible to visit during a physical trip to the zoo.

A look at the internet pages of these live-cams will show that their main purpose is to generate revenue through various sponsorship schemes and funding possibilities. But the positioning of the cameras is starkly reminiscent of surveillance techniques used by institutions and governments on civilians. Looking long enough, one begins to observe various psychological manifestations of captivity including repetitive behaviour, stress and boredom. The live-cam feeds also permit the observation of human-animal interactions in zoos from hitherto unseen vantage points, mostly from within the enclosures looking out.

Millions of dollars spent toward creating these enclosures would have been better used on conservation efforts in the natural habitats of these species. Taking animals out of the wild results in reduced genetic diversity and increased difficulty in finding mates. Yes, zoos breed offsprings as they rake in more money but in doing so, they create a surplus of animals that eventually end up being slaughtered or sold to other zoos or circuses. Disguised as conservation efforts, these are economic transactions trading in the wild lives of innocent others.

Following CYBERSEX  and CROSSINGS , CAPTIVECAM is the third installment in a trilogy exploring the role of the Internet as a global and virtual panopticon.