Edo—Kingyo’s Coolness and the Night Aquarium Museum Lounge
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As with circuses, aquariums have been the subject of concern for animal welfare experts (Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka, and Ulises v. SeaWorld2011): Is captivity the best place for these animals? Are these settings merely entertainment venues? If they provide an educational experience for viewers, does the learning experience outweigh the risks to the animals? Could the education be gained by other modes? What are the elements of animal welfare in the setting of an aquarium? After viewing the Edo—Kingyo’s Coolness Tokyo art exhibit online using the creator’s YouTube video (Kimura 2011), the importance of all of these questions becomes apparent.
Hidetomo Kimura is the designer of the Coolness exhibit. It is just one of several “art aquariums” he has created over the years. The Coolnessexhibit is a hybrid blend of art show, goldfish aquarium, and night club. Envision a museum wing converted into a dance club, complete with disc jockey, live band, overpowering techno music,...
KeywordsAnimal welfare Art Music Stimuli Light Aquarium Entertainment Animal ethics Media and communication
I thank Ami Takisawa and Jim Ediger for their translations of the video’s audio from Japanese to English.
No funding to disclose. I am an Associate Editor for the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.
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