Project Update
By Brianna Acuesta (04/28/14 13:13:48)
Related animal: Octopus

I have been thinking about several potential animals that I would want to work with and my mind keeps coming back to the octopus at the REEF. When we visited, they said that usually the octopus is not that active, and that seemed significant in terms of wondering whether or not the octopus would be willing to collaborate. It really seemed that they either had something to say, or they were expressing how bored they usually are and that seems grounds for finding some way to stimulate them.

I donít have too much natural artistic ability other than photography, so I have struggled to think of a way that I could come up with an art project that would both incorporate the octopiís movements and actually turn out looking good. A couple things that I have come up with are that Iíd like to paint the octopus in a blurry way to signify its constant movements but with some tentacles whose suckers are very clear and representative of the interesting shape that they take on when they are both free from suction and suctioning (free would be a concave shape and suctioning would be completely flat). Something that also would be important to me when painting the octopus would be to paint eyes that seem knowing or smart, because octopi are very intelligent.

Another idea that came to me is that maybe I could spend some time with them and attempt to give them ribbon (with the REEFís permission) and see how they play with it. I could then record that and study it and come up with perhaps a dance that exemplifies the movements if they are graceful, or maybe a dance that showcases the emotions the octopus seemed to be feeling as they started to play with the ribbon (for example, start off with slow movements because the octopus may be confused at first, and then progressively get faster or more entwined as the octopus really starts to play with the ribbon). This, of course, would only really work if the octopus seems to like the ribbon and if there are a range of motions to go off of.

One last idea that seems to be right up my alley is to record the octopus as they are active (I actually already have a video from that first day) and make some kind of glitch photography art featuring the octopus of course. Each glitchís width would depend on the time between each movement. For example, if the octopus waited a little while before moving, the width might be a whole two inches, but if the time between two different movements is only a couple seconds, then the width would be much thinner in the picture.

All of these ideas are rough, of course, but I know that the only way I can start to figure out of I can even complete any of these projects is to visit the REEF again and talk to the staff and the octopus.

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