Spider Webss
By Stephanie Vasquez and Spider(s)

Started on: 05/10/09 16:45:29
Medium: Visual

So after our island trip, I was inspired by the beauty in spider webs and decided it would be great to do a project with them somehow. The problem is, how would I do a project with the spiders without harming them? I have heard that if a spider's web gets ruined or destroyed, it has to start over and this may take up to a lifetime. It would, thus, starve itself to death while creating a new means for food. That is too sad to think about, I would never want to do such harm! So I thought about using spider's designs to create something of my own. For example, photographing their webs, or sketching it out, and then using this as a design for something else... I like to sew and I thought about creating something in this way, but 2 problems arose.

1) Is this really collaboration, or am I, in a sense, "stealing" from the spider (stealing it's idea, design, etc)? The spider seems unaffected but is its lack of true involvement a good thing or a bad thing?

2) Although their webs differ somewhat, for the most part, they generally seem to look pretty similar. This will hinder me in the creative process.

I am not liking this idea 100%. I am certain that there are other ways to work with the spider and its web that I haven't thought about, so I am open to any suggestions that have nothing to do with what I have mentioned above.
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Project Updates
05/10/09 16:48:56 - Post Jesusita Fire and Spider Webs

I have noticed that after the Jesusita Fire, all of the spider webs I have come across in my neighborhood are completely destroyed and sprinkled with ash and debris. In a way, it looks almost like a form of art on its own, but it makes me sad to think about all these spiders that have had there source of food cut off due to a fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but if it was started by humans, think about how much of an impact this person or people have had on living creatures, down to the little spiders of Santa Barbara.

This one was on the ground & I would have never noticed or seen it had it not been for the ash.

Taking this picture was difficult, because I didn't want my neighbors to think I was actually being creepy.

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Comment by mlifshin (05/11/09 22:44:47):
Yeah, I also noticed so many spider webs around my back yard because they were outlined in ash. Those are great photos. One idea for collaborating with the spiders, based on what you said in the post, is to try to clean the ash away very gently without harming the web. It would be really intricate but I feel like most projects involving spider webs probably are. Maybe you could use a pair of tweezers. :D

05/22/09 21:02:33 - Web Clean Up

Saturday May 16th:

Thanks, Masha, for the input. I decided to try this out. I attempted to clean up their webs. I looked around at each spider web but sadly, did not see any spiders. I suppose these webs have been abandoned. Who knows, maybe after they are cleaned up, they will return to their webs.

Materials Used:
- Tweezers
- Video Camera

I started out by gently picking out each of the large particles stuck on the web. By doing this, I realized that I have not recently taken a moment to look at a spider's web. It's very easy to over look them (or sweep them away with our brooms) but I think they are amazing works of art. As I went on picking the particles out, however, I came to the conclusion that I was doing more harm than good. I ended up making holes in the spider web, and I was being quite gentle. I stopped the project early so I wouldn't cause any more damage.

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05/22/09 21:10:39 - Web Binding

Another idea I had was to create my own webs in between webs made by spiders. Since these webs weren't occupied by spiders, I wouldn't be disturbing any of them. I wanted to create a large web, part spider-made, part human-made.

Materials Used:
- Clear vinyl string, 100 yds
- Scissors
- Camera/Video Camera

I had great difficulty keeping the string together. I will have to work on creating my web first, then figure out how to attach it to the spider web.

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