The Fruit Fly Farm – flickr art in Stavanger
[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.