Tamagotchi Pets Inspire Virtual Animal Installations
Remember Tamagotchi’s? The virtual pets that had to be fed, taken care of, cleaned up after and micromanaged so they wouldn’t die. Believe it or not they still exist, just turned 15-years-old and still have a lot of owners addicted to their upkeep (though now the computerized eggs come with a pause or on/off switch).
Tamagotchi is a series of urban video installations that also feature virtual animals, but unlike the pixelated pocket-sized creatures, Yakubenk’s projections resemble actual animals—beautiful, phantasmagorical apparitions that she projects around the metropolis.
With this series, she wanted to expose the irony of a peaceful coexistence between wild animals and humans, while in reality “many of them are endangered because of human action. This project wants to show that in the future animals may only exist digitally.”
Maybe we should channel the obsessive energy we use to spend on our virtual pets and instead focus it on protecting endangered animal species. As beautiful as the apparitions may be, they certainly invoke a haunting perception of the future.