Joseph Wright of Derby made a painting of an early scientific experiment with an air pump. The purpose of the experiment was to see if life was possible in a vacuum. Wright paints a bird trapped inside a glass bell jar surrounded by a small family who respond in various ways to the event of the dying life. The older men are scientifically enthralled while the young girl cries.
Collishaw remade this scenario by filming a canary and then projecting the video back inside a bell jar on a ground glass screen. The viewer comes and goes, but the canary is trapped, condemned to hop around for eternity.