Kelly Heaton uses original software and found objects in her sculpture and installations.
Live Pelt is a multimedia installation based on the transformation of 64 Tickle Me Elmo dolls into a coat.
Fashioned from the toys’ pelts and electronics, The Surrogate coat provides full body vibration and is designed to be a substitute lover.
Desecration and fetishism are consistent throughout the narrative of the installation, which relies on the American fur trade history. The Trapper collects Elmos through eBay; The Industrialist performs the skinning; and The Taxidermist stuffs and mounts their heads. The Alchemist solders the electronic viscera and seeks clues to the mystery of life. Other characters, The Sociopath, The Debutante, and The Fashionista, interact with the coat and its accessories at various stages in The Surrogate’s development.
Live Pelt continues Heaton’s series entitled Bibiota that includes Reflection Loop and Dead Pelt in which 400 Furbies have been re-engineered into a coat for Mrs. Santa Claus and a wall of reactive eyes and mouths.