At first glance, the Cane camera looks no different than any other metallic cane. It is silver and black, shiny at the top and sleek and smooth at the shaft. It fulfills the purpose of any other walking-aid. A closer look at the details of the cane reveals a small peephole near the handle. It’s easy to miss, and thus successfully fulfills its purpose to observe and conceal. Sara Hendren describes it as “old school private-eye gear, from the 1920s, 30s, 40s. For covert spies.” This lack of background information leaves the object with an air of mystery; it leaves us wondering who exactly used this machine? What were they investigating? How many canes were circulated when it was first created? How many other objects of the Cane Camera’s time were as revolutionary as this one?
No, I don’t like the way it looks. It looks boring to me—two toned and smooth, it’s not appealing to me. I guess that just speaks to its purpose as an undercover object to spy on others—it can’t attract attention. Also, I’m sure it was heavy, and difficult to use under pressure. Contemporaneous technology (i.e. cameras) was bulky and heavy, if it was forced into a small space like the handle of a cane, I’m assuming it couldn’t be very light. Regardless whether I like it aesthetically or not, I think it would be fun to use. I’m not stealthy enough to use it on a daily basis, but when an appropriate time arises it would be cool to spy on people!
The Camera Cane helps a person observe without being noticed, it helps the user see without being seen. Although the object doesn’t really change the way we perceive something, the object changes the way the user is perceived. The Cane Camera can transform any seemingly innocent passerby into a stealthy spy.