Second part of my report on Betes de Style/Animals With Style, at the MUDAC museum in Lausanne.
One of the sections of the exhibition, called Training, Taming, Dominating, looked at the way mankind instrumentalizes, figuratively or not, animals.
Elio Caccavale was showing Utility Pet, a series of products that draws attention to the ethical consequences of xenotransplantation, the transplantation of cells, tissues or organs from one species to another such as from pigs to humans. The project evokes the kind of new objects one might find in a house where a pig, a sort of living organ bank, lives with a family. The Smoke Eater allows the user to smoke at home without creating passive smoke that would damage the precious lungs of the pet.
As the pig’s grunts and snorts are communicated to the owner through the Toy Communicator, creating an open channel between animal and person when they are not in the same location.
Among the objects designed is also a low resolution Pig TV activited by the pet as its presence in front of the screen is detected via infrared sensors, and a snout preserved in a clear cast and requested by the organ receiver to the Memento Service to keep as a memento of his sacrified friend.
Stéphane Sautour‘s Fight Club made use of two AIBOs. Their programmation had been altered to change their behavior and make them look aggressive and fight each other. The “hack” was in fact very simple. No re-writing of the code, the robots were just wearing a pink suit. The AIBOs are attracted by the colour pink. As soon as the colour enters the robot’s field of vision, it advances towards the other.
During the performance, the viewer is unable to differentiate between the two robots in visual terms, the AIBO’s appearance being identical, as is their “intelligence” (the program). But despite this the viewer does distinguish the robots while they are fighting going so far as to differentiate them by their more or less aggressive character (empathic phenomenon).
I was happy to discover Kariwanz‘ wild porno-chic masks. Their presence probably explained the sign at the entrance of the room that said that some of the works might not be suitable for children. I found the pieces too amusing to be really shocking.
Kariwanz’ pieces were exhibited next to one of the splendid’s images by Jean-Pierre Khazem (sorry couldn’t find a better caption.) The photo showed prostitutes and clients hanging outside massage parlors.