[heavily edited after posting]
One of the pieces of unstable art in Stavanger this weekend is Finnish artist’s Laura Beloff’s The Fruit Fly Farm, which is a second stage of a project she started with The Head. The Head is a piece of wearable art – sort of like a see-through sphere with a shoulder strap – that has a mobile phone inside that takes a photo and records a bit of sound when someone texts it (the phone number is +47 93351116) and sends the photo and sound back as an MMS, as well asuploading the photo to Flickr.

The Fruit Fly Farm adds in life, in the form of a fruit fly colony that lives inside the sphere, along with enough rotting fruit to last them a week. The camera in this sphere takes photos from the point of view of the flies, I think, and can be SMSed at +47 93351116. You can see the most recent photos on her website. When you wear the farm, you have what the artist calls “-a wearable fly farm, a personal “pet”, with public access-”

When I was tiny, or perhaps before I was born, in that mythical past of which you hear your parents lived before you remember, my mum bred fruit flies, or drosophila as she taught us to call them, for genetic research. So my family had a special relationship to drosophila, and my sister and I knew all about how fast they breed, and how convenient they are for experiments about chromosones, mutations and inheritance. We never kept them as pets, though, at least, not deliberately.

Per Platou introduced me to Laura Beloff, and so I’ve had a glimpse of the Farm. She had to sew it a “dress” to protect it from the cold. A fruit fly farm as a personal, self-documenting pet. It’s a hilarious. I’m looking forward to getting a closer look at it.

3 thoughts on “The Fruit Fly Farm – flickr art in Stavanger

  1. Mobiltelefonkunst « God dag, verd!

    […] Det er imidlertid merkeleg at ein nyttar dei til ?• skrive, n?•r det ellers er det ein treng ein pause fr?•. Uansett s?• las eg eit innlegg p?• Jill Walker sin blogg, om eit merkeleg kunstprosjekt som var bygd rundt mobil teknologi. […]

  2. Mum

    Actually you did keep Drosophila for a while, Jill. Not as pets but as live pet FOOD for two small amphibians you & your sister had ‘rescued’ from the mountains when you were about 8 years old. But maybe I shouldn’t remind you since I was implicated in their (the frogs not the flies) untimely demise after a seldom bout of furniture polishing.

  3. Jill

    Oh no. I’d forgotten about that 😉 Not the frogs – I have fond and tragic memories of the frogs, but the drosphila we fed them! Hehe. 🙂

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

Triple book talk: Watch James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me discuss our 2023 books

Thanks to everyone who came to the triple book talk of three recent books on machine vision by James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me, and thanks for excellent questions. Several people have emailed to asked if we recorded it, and yes we did! Here you go! James and Jussi’s books […]

Image on a black background of a human hand holding a graphic showing the word AI with a blue circuit board pattern inside surrounded by blurred blue and yellow dots and a concentric circular blue design.
AI and algorithmic culture Machine Vision

Four visual registers for imaginaries of machine vision

I’m thrilled to announce another publication from our European Research Council (ERC)-funded research project on Machine Vision: Gabriele de Setaand Anya Shchetvina‘s paper analysing how Chinese AI companies visually present machine vision technologies. They find that the Chinese machine vision imaginary is global, blue and competitive.  De Seta, Gabriele, and Anya Shchetvina. “Imagining Machine […]

Do people flock to talks about ChatGPT because they are scared?

Whenever I give talks about ChatGPT and LLMs, whether to ninth graders, businesses or journalists, I meet people who are hungry for information, who really want to understand this new technology. I’ve interpreted this as interest and a need to understand – but yesterday, Eirik Solheim said that every time […]