American bison have roamed the North American plains for thousands of years. Modest historical estimates suggest that, at one point, 24-million bison inhabited the continent. This number began to decrease with the arrival of non-native settlers and the European subspecies Equus ferus caballus, otherwise known as the domesticated horse. The introduction of the horse initiated an existential threat for the bison. Horses provided humans with increased range and speed. Although humans were responsible for the act of hunting, the destruction of the bison was vastly influenced by the arrival of the horse.
By the late 1800’s, the North American bison population was close to extinction. During this period, the presence of the horse, once again, originated a profound and lasting cultural influence. In the 1870’s, Eadweard Muybridge captured multiple photographs of the prize horse Occident. The photographs were highly influential in the development of motion picture technology and, by extension, introduced humans to modern forms of media technology. Once more, the fluid movement of the horse would have a dynamic impact on how humans related to the natural world.
The arrival of digital technology has augmented our relationship with space, time, and memory. Mobile Devices questions this delicate relationship between digital technology and humans. Using original photography by Eadweard Muybridge, the short film uses glitch-generated visuals to illustrate our accelerated acceptance of technology. Will these unassuming technological devices continue to enhance our current state of existence or will they expedite the destruction of our precious human nature?