Pharyngula

Talented roaches

Cute, weird collection of bug art. This was painted by a cockroach?

i-632e9a46da99b9f228e958f7d80bc042-cockroach_art.jpg

Comments

  1. #1 Warren
    November 30, 2007

    Or Jackson Pollock, learning to his horror that REINCARNATION IS A FACT AFTER ALL AIEEEEEE!

    Alternate snide comment: Duuuuuuude. Pass me that roach, okay?

  2. #2 MH
    November 30, 2007

    I just consulted Babelfish (Cockroachese > English) and got this:

    “These dastardly two-legs are trying to drown me in paint! Send help!”

  3. #3 bad Jim
    November 30, 2007

    Actually, Peggy Guggenheim’s little museum in Venice has two Pollocks which don’t look like painters’ drop cloths.

  4. #4 Hank Fox
    November 30, 2007

    Looking at this bug art, my brain just jumped about three tracks (don’t ask) and came up with this:

    PZ, what IS squid/octopus ink? Is it just some sort of mineral pigment — an iron compound, perhaps — in solution? Or is it something more complex, a stew of organics? And do the various oceanic critters use pretty much the same ink, or are there lots of different types? Does it have any repellant qualities, or is there only a visual effect?

    It would be interesting to know the evolutionary backtrail of such stuff, too. How did it develop?

    (Okay, it’s early, I was up all night writing, and … well, it’s early.)

  5. #5 Ian B Gibson
    November 30, 2007

    Combining the subtle attention to detail, admirable persistence and that delightfully understated sense of playfulness for which the whole Blattodea order is quite justly known, this specimen was possibly produced after a late-night binging and partying session in a well-stocked kitchen, and is undeniably one of the finer examples from the cockroach’s impressionist period. A Classic.

  6. #6 Podblack.wordpress.com
    November 30, 2007

    Sure, elephants can grip a brush
    ‘Sculpture’ bird poo was hailed;
    Cats danced in fake photography
    Song’s what Ono wailed.

    Take a child’s piddles in paint
    Sell them for a couple of thou –
    Opinion guides the tastes of time:
    Fifteen minutes of “wow”.

    PZ, oh man, I gotta say
    (And critics may reproach) –
    But if you call this scribble ‘art’,
    Honestly – it makes me roach.

  7. #7 Brian Thompson
    November 30, 2007

    I just consulted Babelfish (Cockroachese > English) and got this:

    “These dastardly two-legs are trying to drown me in paint! Send help!

    C’mon. You made that up. There’s no way babelfish could have translated it that accurately.

    “These average two-foot is able swim I the paint! Mail help!”

  8. #8 zeekster
    November 30, 2007

    back in high school i saw lost of paint eaten off of the canvas buy roaches but never applied to the canvas. The ones I saw left some really great patterns though.

  9. #9 Kseniya
    November 30, 2007

    Next up: The Abridged Holy Bible, edited by a committee of bookworms.

  10. #10 N 'Man O'Rage' R
    November 30, 2007

    Maybe its just pareidolia, but is that an image of PZ in the upper left corner? It’s a Sign! It’s a Sign!

  11. #11 zaza
    November 30, 2007

    This might be better than anus art.

  12. #12 Jit
    November 30, 2007

    Warren:
    Pollock could paint. Which makes the evolution of his style to uncontrolled splats even less explicable.

    This is not art. It is technicolour insect torture. The “artist” must have been continually poking the poor little critters, since as anyone who has ever put creepy crawlies in a tray knows, they walk till they hit the side and then they just follow the side. Isotropism or something.

  13. #13 Drake
    November 30, 2007

    “This was painted by a cockroach?”

    I’m skeptical. For one, how’d he hold the brush?

  14. #14 Willey
    November 30, 2007

    This is not art. It is technicolour insect torture.

    And Pollock was “molesting the law of gravity”.
    And Robert Smithson was “corrupting the earth”.

    I don’t think it says much for the artist, but it is a very interesting study in the motion of insects and how they get around. I don’t think Pharyngula is designed to discuss what “art” is on the message board; A bunch of scientists discussing what “art” is can only lead to heartbreak and fluorescent mice.

  15. #15 Faithful Reader
    November 30, 2007

    “Moneighs” (yeah, yeah) have been reliable fundraisers for ReRun and other organizations which place off-track Thoroughbreds and other horses. http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=10881

  16. #16 Dahan
    November 30, 2007

    Just another example of taking “outsider art” to its logical conclusion. This is why, when getting my MFA, I spent my time on furniture design. Let’s see the little bugs design a functioning chair.

  17. #17 Kseniya
    November 30, 2007

    Come on now, people. The Roches are gifted and engaging artists!

  18. #18 Lyle G
    November 30, 2007

    Pollock could indeed paint realistically, somewhat in the style of Benton. Some of his dribbled abstractions are quite beautiful.

  19. #19 Gregory Kusnick
    November 30, 2007

    This is not art. It is technicolour insect torture. The “artist” must have been continually poking the poor little critters, since as anyone who has ever put creepy crawlies in a tray knows, they walk till they hit the side and then they just follow the side. Isotropism or something.

    If you click through to the artist’s site, he explains in detail how he does it. This includes using light cues to steer the bugs, feeding them beforehad (to make sure they don’t eat the paint), and cleaning them up carefully afterward.

    He also talks about sharing credit with his “small artist” collaborators.

    Whether or not it’s art is a good question. (It’s certainly more interesting than a lot of human-produced “art” I’ve seen.) But the guy is an entomologist by training and it does seem like he’s taken steps to provide for the bugs’ comfort.

  20. #20 bernarda
    December 1, 2007

    Back in 1910, a group of artists presented a painting by a JR Boronali. It was well received, but it turns out it was painted by a donkey using its tail. “Coucher de soleil sur l’Adriatique”

    http://boronali.blogspot.com/2005/12/where-do-i-belong.html

  21. #21 dpocius
    December 3, 2007

    I think I’ve seen this before.

    “To prevent automated spam sign-ups, please enter the characters shown in this box.”

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