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   Undertoad  Tuesday May 20 11:15 AM

5/20/2003: Fish in a Blender



In the IotD theme of interesting/controversial art, this is an installation in a Danish museum. Not only are the fish and blenders real, they are plugged in, and a display invites visitors to blend the fish if they like.

The museum director was initially charged with animal cruelty, but he was acquitted yesterday after it was decided that the fish, if they are blended, are killed instantly and thus humanely.

That brings up questions. Why the director? Shouldn't it be the visitors who choose to press the button who are charged? Why was the artist left out of it? If it's OK to kill them, why is it suddenly not OK if it takes a while for them to die?

Is it good art? It's provocative; without even seeing it, all of us are provoked to answer the question of whether we'd press the button. (I wouldn't.)

On the other hand, it's too simple. It's easy to provoke people via cruelty; we are guaranteed to react to it. Art is not good solely because it makes you think. The best art, it seems to me, is deeper and more inspiring as it makes complicated statements in subtle ways.

Maybe one could come up with a complicated statement about this; "Look, the dark side in humanity is all around us, maybe standing right next to you, maybe in your family, and it's demonstrated in simple ways, just by offering the push of a button." But "Duh!" -- we knew that already, and it's been well-explored, and at the end of the day our cruelty is not the truly interesting thing about humanity.



dave  Tuesday May 20 12:31 PM

Where the hell was this?



Undertoad  Tuesday May 20 12:44 PM

Trapholt Art Museum in Kolding Denmark.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...ws/5895738.htm



And  Tuesday May 20 01:15 PM

I can't help but imagine the "artist" standing just out of sight, wringing his hands and grinning broadly, occasionally peeking around the corner at the blenders and snickering...

This is not art. This is a "Hey, wouldn't it be rad if we...!"



Happy Monkey  Tuesday May 20 02:37 PM

Re: 5/20/2003: Fish in a Blender

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
If it's OK to kill them, why is it suddenly not OK if it takes a while for them to die?
Remember that a goldfish only has 3 seconds of memory. If it takes more than 3 seconds for them to die then they will have been in severe pain for as long as they can remember!


xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday May 20 02:56 PM

Bass-O-Matic was funny because it was so preposterous.
This is just sick. I don't no much about art, but this ain't it!



Cochese  Tuesday May 20 04:46 PM

Can fish even feel pain?



juju  Tuesday May 20 05:22 PM

Of course, they're animals.



chrisinhouston  Tuesday May 20 05:33 PM

The friendly folks at PETA have a viewpoint:
http://www.nofishing.net/pain.html



wolf  Tuesday May 20 06:25 PM

I wonder how many fish they go through in a day?



dave  Tuesday May 20 06:36 PM

Two (2) total, apparently. It was pulled after that.



Whit  Tuesday May 20 07:02 PM

     What's up with those cheap-ass blenders? Only one button, one speed? What's the fun in that?
     I wonder how many people double tapped the button? Ya know, just enough to spin the water a bit, but not actually suck the fish down to it blendery death? Er, not that I'd do, or even think of such a thing...



richlevy  Tuesday May 20 07:42 PM

A few years back there was a pet store in Delaware on Rte 202 that had a tank of Piranha. For less than a buck you could buy feeder goldfish and drop them in the tank.

Now since the activity which ensued was

a) part of the natural order

and

b) not wasteful since the fish are serving a purpose

does that put it on a higher ethical plane than the blender art?



novice  Tuesday May 20 10:09 PM

A FRENCH Blender, oui? Merde



elSicomoro  Tuesday May 20 10:30 PM

Re: 5/20/2003: Fish in a Blender

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
Is it good art? It's provocative; without even seeing it, all of us are provoked to answer the question of whether we'd press the button. (I wouldn't.)
For some reason, this reminds me of Stanley Milgram and his wacky experiments from the '60s.

(I'd push the button...what the hell...)


Torrere  Tuesday May 20 10:58 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by novice
A FRENCH Blender, oui? Merde
Non. C'est un «FREEDOM Blender», s'il vous plait.


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday May 21 12:10 AM

Quote:
Can fish even feel pain?
That's been debated for some time. Fishermen say no, PETA says yes. Scientists say they react to stimulus but don't know if it's pain as we know it.


Beletseri  Wednesday May 21 08:33 AM

Now something more interesting would be if the blender was fitted with an invisible partition that seperated the fish from the blades. The fish would be safe and you could watch the reactions of the button pushers - would it be relief, disappointment, anger at being fooled?



CharlieG  Wednesday May 21 08:36 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Beletseri
Now something more interesting would be if the blender was fitted with an invisible partition that seperated the fish from the blades. The fish would be safe and you could watch the reactions of the button pushers - would it be relief, disappointment, anger at being fooled?
I would say that something fishy was going on......

GD&RVVF


SteveDallas  Wednesday May 21 10:52 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by richlevy
A few years back there was a pet store in Delaware on Rte 202 that had a tank of Piranha. For less than a buck you could buy feeder goldfish and drop them in the tank.

Now since the activity which ensued was

a) part of the natural order

and

b) not wasteful since the fish are serving a purpose

does that put it on a higher ethical plane than the blender art?
What would the pirhanas be fed otherwise? If the answer is live fish, then the only thing the store is selling is the opportunity for the customer to feed the pirhanas, rather than the store staff.

I have to say that given the fate of most pet store goldfish (someody correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect they're rarely cared for properly before their inevitable death & flushing), it's hard for me to work up much moral indignation over this one.


Serk  Wednesday May 21 11:50 AM

Goldfish

A well cared goldfish has a life expetancy of over 25 years, so yeah, the fate of most pet store goldfish isn't exactly rosey, considering they'll do good to last 3 months in a goldfish bowl...

BTW, the fish in the blenders aren't goldfish, they're Swordtail Platy's, I believe (Hard to recall, I've become mainly a saltwater fish geek lately, my freshwater species recognition skills are getting rusty)...

Live breeders, they breed like mad, and commonly eat their own fry as they're being born, if you don't seperate them somehow...

Ironically enough, I am a complete fish geek, have over a dozen tanks up and running in my house, and I have no problem with this display as art. I think it makes a very profound statement about the nature of man. When confronted with the opportunity, would you push the button? Would that nice looking old man next to you?



That Guy  Wednesday May 21 12:37 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Beletseri
Now something more interesting would be if the blender was fitted with an invisible partition that seperated the fish from the blades. The fish would be safe and you could watch the reactions of the button pushers - would it be relief, disappointment, anger at being fooled?
Maybe just use sponge or rubber blades?


novice  Wednesday May 21 08:15 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by That Guy
Maybe just use sponge or rubber blades?
I'd still be curious to see the result after goldy pulled 8 g's in an aqua-twister


windhund  Thursday May 22 04:40 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Cochese
Can fish even feel pain?
I would think so, just for one simple reason: they would have to in order to preserve themselves.

There is a rare disease called congenital analgesia in humans, wherein the affected person cannot feel pain. These people are constantly at risk for serious injury as a result. Most of them die young from injuries they may not have been aware they had.

I think it follows naturally that all living things would have to have some sort of pain response as a method of self-preservation.

However, people can be awfully dense about things they cannot see or feel for themselves. It was not that long ago that in some cases surgery was performed on infants without using anesthesia because there was a belief that an infant's nervous system was not developed enough to feel pain. What a crock of shite that turned out to be.

And this recent research in which scientists injected bee venom into fishes' lips in an attempt to discover whether they feel pain or not? I think we would be safe to assume the answer is yes and devote the time and money spent on that to something that makes more sense. Especially because they *still* were unable to determine anything for sure.


Beletseri  Thursday May 22 04:53 PM

I think any scientist would say that fish feel pain. Do they experience that same sort of angst over feeling pain that we do? I don't think we will ever know the answer to that one. Feeling the sensation of pain is not exactly the same thing as suffering. I'm not even sure that all people experience the same level of pain let alone suffer to the same extent from the pain they experience.

One cool factoid - redheads usually feel more pain senstations than the rest of us and need more anesthesia for pain free procedures.



Happy Monkey  Thursday May 22 06:05 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by windhund
However, people can be awfully dense about things they cannot see or feel for themselves.
Indeed. And the poor fish can't even manage an expression to announce their pain.
Quote:
It was not that long ago that in some cases surgery was performed on infants without using anesthesia because there was a belief that an infant's nervous system was not developed enough to feel pain. What a crock of shite that turned out to be.
Another reason not to anesthetize infants is that anesthesia is fairly dangerous, especially for infants. But the idea that they don't feel pain was pretty wrong.


wolf  Thursday May 22 06:47 PM

That probably ended the first time a surgeon tried to cut on an baby that wasn't under anesthesia. They get very loud and squirm like you wouldn't believe ... and that's when they are happy.

There is certainly more delicacy involved when putting a baby under, but that's why anesthesiologists are well paid.



windhund  Friday May 23 09:35 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by wolf
That probably ended the first time a surgeon tried to cut on an baby that wasn't under anesthesia. They get very loud and squirm like you wouldn't believe ... and that's when they are happy.

There is certainly more delicacy involved when putting a baby under, but that's why anesthesiologists are well paid.
Paralyzing agents were used so the baby wouldn't move during surgery, but no analgesia was provided. These drugs carry their own risks just as general anesthesia does. So I really don't understand why this choice was ever made, but there 'tis.


xoxoxoBruce  Friday May 23 04:33 PM

Quote:
What would the pirhanas be fed otherwise?
Mice. CAUTION- 2.7 meg and graphic


Chris MC  Saturday May 24 04:41 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by richlevy
A few years back there was a pet store in Delaware on Rte 202 that had a tank of Piranha. For less than a buck you could buy feeder goldfish and drop them in the tank.

Now since the activity which ensued was

a) part of the natural order

and

b) not wasteful since the fish are serving a purpose

does that put it on a higher ethical plane than the blender art?
Yes it does, because fish in blenders are not part of the natural order, and in any case ... if you blend it then you should drink it.

I always do


Tomas Rueda  Tuesday Jun 15 09:45 AM

What is the limit of stupidity of these guys? or do they have a limit?

I can tell that the artist who came up with this is not even an artist. it's just another guy who is trying to pull up some money from an unsuspicious public.

What is art anyway? Art is all the activity related to coming up with emotins, more detailed, elegant emotions; and it takes work to accomplish it.

michelangelo did it by painting the 6th chapel, many other works and even sculpting David in those "pure" years. (of course out of art, not nudity or pornograghy)

Da vinci did it by making several intricate works that people now think there is a secret code to them.

even Roy Liechenstein did it by posterizing images of magazine-like detail.

all these have one thing in common. it took work for them to accomplish their status. but putting a fish into a cheap, POS blender is not art. it neither gives any emotions.

A Good Bach or a nice Queen might do the trick, but this doesn't



Happy Monkey  Tuesday Jun 15 10:19 AM

I'm not saying it's good art, but it does provoke emotion.



modernhamlet  Wednesday Jun 16 12:01 PM

I'm not saying it's good art, but it does provoke emotion.

So does punching you in the face, but I doubt you'd consider that art.

Provoking emotion MIGHT be necessary for something to be art, but it's certainly not sufficient.

/can't define art either



jaguar  Wednesday Jun 16 12:06 PM

ah but two people punching each other in the face would be art.
or a bar brawl. Such a thin line these days.



Happy Monkey  Wednesday Jun 16 12:07 PM

Standing under a "Punch in the Face - $5" sign could be art, though.



jojomonkeygirl  Thursday Jun 17 07:42 AM

ya bunch of sick bastards



Tomas Rueda  Thursday Jun 17 02:06 PM

Why don't you ask my sister? she's an artist.



jaguar  Thursday Jun 17 02:07 PM

I thought you were about to say she was a boxer.



wolver  Thursday Jun 17 02:15 PM

Yo I also have the background of boxing in my life also Tae-kwondo.

So watch out.



Lady Sidhe  Thursday Jun 17 07:16 PM

Yeah, those are swordtails.

Interesting. I don't think it's art. It looks more like drunk college Teke humor. Oops...drunk and teke...that would be redundant, wouldn't it? Sorry 'bout that. Adolescent college humor, along the lines of daring someone to swallow goldfish when they're drunk.

It seems pretty common that the infliction of pain on lower life forms is not often considered important to humans. They figure since THEY can't feel it, what does it matter? However, here in the states, the artist would possibly be subject to animal cruelty laws. I can't swear to that, though, because I don't know if the animal cruelty laws apply to fish.

I find it interesting, also, that some who don't support execution for a convicted murderer have no problem causing the useless death of an animal that's done nothing to deserve it. They'll press the button just because "oooohh, watch the fishy spin...cooooool. Check out the blood, dude, that's gross. Cool.""

I agree that it takes more for something to be art than for it to just be provocative. Yelling racial slurs on the street corner is provocative, but it isn't art. My daughter is more creative, and she's only two-and-a-half.


And as to the suggestion that if you blend it you oughta drink it, RIGHT ON!



Sidhe



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