Rat Collaboration
By leona chen and Rat(s)

Started on: 05/20/09 16:25:46
Medium: Sculptural

Project 1:

Part 1:
Whenever I put in tissue paper, paper towels, and cardboard inside my rat's cages. They always transforms the original form of the item into something different. They will either shred, tear, or pull. I was thinking of taking their creations and reinterpreting into my own. With the two parts of this project, I am hoping to show the reversal of creating and re-creating after what someone/something has made.

Part 2:
I have made four different sculptures that are safe for my rats to chew on. These sculptures were made in mind of my rat's preferences to certain materials and also what was aesthetically pleasing to me. My rats are very active creatures and whenever I place in tissue paper for them to use as bedding, they would remove the tissue paper and shred it up. They would then strategically place the altered tissue paper in different areas of the cage, like the food bowl, their bed, and in corners. It was a strange habit because they would always put the tissue paper in those specific spots. So I thought it would be interesting for me to create sculptures and see how they decide to reappropriate it and to reinterpret my sculptures as their own.

Project 2:
Rats also leave small traces of urine as they walk. This is done so that they can recognize their surroundings and remember if they have been there or not. At times, it is also used for marking their territory. I sometimes like to line the bottom of the cage with paper to prevent the rats from making it dirty. I noticed that when I do clean out the cage and I take out the paper that lines the bottom. There are faint stains from the rats walking over it and leaving their urine marks. The marks looks like a pattern. The marks are faded but I was thinking for the exhibition, I can buy a black light bulb and install it into the ceiling light. This way, the urine mark patterns will show vividly with the light. I have put several sheets of paper and cardboard. I am thinking of taking these pieces and constructing them into a giant collage so it can be displayed under the black light.

[Write Comment]

Comment by mlifshin (05/22/09 17:38:07):
I really like the urine art idea! That is original and fun, because I am imagining that it will look really aesthetically interesting and people will be surprised to find out the materials involved. So yes I am looking forward to seeing how this looks! And also what the rat's interaction is going to be with the sculptures.

Project Updates
05/27/09 19:26:29 - Update

My installation is complete. I'm still having complications because the lighting in the gallery is too bright was makes the black light hard to see. I am concerned because I do not know how it will work out with the projects around me that need lighting.

[Write Comment]
06/02/09 21:21:03 - Show

The show was a success. I was surprised by the outcome of it because more people attended than what I expected. I was also surprised how many of my friends supported me by coming to our show. I made a Facebook event for the show which allowed me to notify my friends of the show.

It was interesting to see how the people interacted with my project. I was slightly disappointed because the lighting was too bright in the gallery. Since it was too bright, people were not able to see the patterns and markings I was attempting to show everyone. But I am still satisfied with the outcome of my project because despite the bad lighting, people understood the purpose and intent of my installation, and that to me is rewarding enough.

When the gallery was completed, I realized how diverse all the projects were and even though they were different, they all somehow correlated in a harmonious way.

[Write Comment]