Metamorphosis and the Absurdity of Human Constructs (Follow-up)
By Mona Luo and Caterpillar(s)

Started on: 04/27/14 14:20:24
Medium: Visual

I have revised my proposal a little. Instead of a guided meditation I would like to make either a book or series of paintings. They would be done in a style of a picture book explaining puberty, except instead of puberty it would be documenting an imaginary human metamorphosis. Taking inspiration from books like The “What’s Happening to my Body” Book for Girls, and The Puberty Book, I will follow the journey of a teenager through their transformation. I would like to keep this project humorous if possible. Explicit and vivid descriptions possible sensations associated with the process would be included. For instance, within the chrysalis, the body would be digested into a soupy mess before amalgamating once again to an entirely new body. My biggest issue right now is to imagine what the final organism will look like. I think the new organism should have more and/or different kinds of limbs to our human arms and legs, additional or changed sensory appendages, wings, an exoskeleton, and generally bear little resemblance to the original human. I would like to keep the project as closely analogous to the actual metamorphosis process as possible.
As for the other half of the project, the idea has stayed roughly the same. I would like to make a diorama of a restaurant. This idea of exchanging vital resources (food) for arbitrarily determined tokens (money) in hopes that in the future these tokens will be recognized and accepted for resources or services in the future from other organisms is uniquely human. There are instances of monkeys exchanging food for sex, but as far as I know, there are no instances of using arbitrarily decided tokens. The natural behavior of the insects in the diorama ignoring the furniture and utensils is meant to highlight how absurd our customs may seem through the eyes of non-human animals.
Rather than focusing on the wonder of animals being able to do what humans do, I would like to bring focus animals doing what humans cannot do. The fact remains that insects do not have the same complex computational powers as larger mammals with bigger brains. However, this should not make them any less amazing or any less respected. I would like to work against the bias that humans have against invertebrates. There is a common misconception that invertebrates are more primitive than vertebrates; however they have been evolving alongside the vertebrates for just as long. Although they may share more traits with a more ancient ancestor, they are just as well suited for their environment as any vertebrate in its own respective environment. Evolution does not drive organisms towards one perfect organism, but instead creates many answers that are “good enough”. If insects were not as evolved as mammals they would have gone extinct long ago, instead they outnumber even humans. Estimates are up to 200 million insects per human or about 300 pounds of insect for each pound of human. I strongly believe that when insects make up so much of the planet’s life, they should be more respected and more often addressed.

Information on metamorphosis found here:

and information on insect to human proportions found here:

inspiration for diorama

inspiration for metamorphosis book

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