Giving Back to Gain More
By Serena Zahler, Crab(s), Decorator Crab(s), Hermit Crab(s) and Octopus(s)

Started on: 06/03/10 16:26:17
Medium: Conceptual

It is a very human thing to want to keep something just to have and collect variable objects over time. Iíve always loved combing the sand for seashells, interesting rocks, and sea glass. Until our class trip to Santa Cruz Island it never crossed my mind that other species may enjoy using these remnants of life as well. I had always kept my treasures selfishly. After seeing the hundreds of hermit crabs in the tide pools with their various shaped homes on their backs, I wondered what other sea creatures could make better use of the shells I collect. Carrier shells attach smaller, hard shells to themselves as camouflage, a tiny octopus hides in an empty shell as a protective cave, and decorator crabs disguise themselves with an array of coral polyps and discarded items found on the sea floor. Instead of keeping my findings to collect dust on a shelf, I now draw the seashells I find and then throw them back into the ocean. I believe these other species find the object I return to the sea and use it for them-selves. This process enables me to give something back to my ocean-dwelling friends and creating a tangible image of the shell that I held in my hand all the while receiving a sense of fulfillment. I hope they enjoy the shells as much as I do.

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Project Updates
06/06/10 16:50:59 - Interspecies Collaboration Exhibition

The exhibition went great. It was exciting and interesting to see all of the final projects my classmates had been working on all quarter. I was astonished by the array of mediums, ideas, and collaborations. I believe the animals that joined in on the exhibition had as much fun and learned as much as we did. I can't way to take away what I have learned about how to relate to other species with me in life. This class has truly taught me to consider all others around me, not just my fellow humans. I think that the beginning projects of this class will become integrated into my current art practice making me a more well rounded artist and human.

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