Animal Communication With Doostam
By Hector Medina and Hamster(s)

Started on: 06/04/13 11:24:40
Medium: Conceptual

For this week’s collaboration, I did not have to seek an animal, the animal came to me. My roommate’s girlfriend, Lisa, came to visit and she brought her hamster with her. He is a small brown and white male hamster named Doostam. Lisa told me it means “my friend” in Farsi. She has brought him before so he is okay when I hold him. I thought what a perfect animal to collaborate with, well from the animals I have access to.
She carries him in a small cage built for small rodents. It has plenty of toys and levels to keep him amused. He also has a wheel where he can run on. It was a bit of a struggle getting him during the day though since he is nocturnal. He has a toy like house with a scarf inside, which is where he spends most of his time during the day. Luckily one day he was out and about so we took advantage he was awake.
I was thinking that since I have been working with rodents, something involving a inspired by them is ideal for a project. So far I have met a rabbit, a guinea pig, a chinchilla and now a hamster. I want to make something that shows what I learned from the animal or be able to teach the audience. Since mice are used for many experiments by scientist I thought I would give it a try and see what makes them the prime sample. Maybe they have bundles of knowledge to share. I had not constructed a maze or anything so we improvised with books boxes and other materials we had laying around. We used my desk and chest of drawers as the platform. We laid out books and other things creating a maze for him. What we did not think was about what to motivate him with. He simply wondered around smelling and biting things. We basically gave up and put him back in his cage and gave him some carrots. It is funny how he did not eat them, but simply stiffed them in his mouth. In the end, it was a good concept but maybe make it less elaborate and provide a motivation. It did let me to think about ideas for the final project.
My emphasis in school is painting and drawing. It’s hard to think of a project without simply being inspired by about the animals I interacted with. I do still want to do something with the same medium though. I am thinking about presenting a canvas with some sort of maze constructed with in it. Perhaps I can tape up a maze on it and have people paint their way through it. It is kind of a challenge though since it will be in a gallery many people will see it and know the path to take from the previous person. How can I make it more private? And if I do will less people participate?

[Write Comment]