I make installation-based work centering on animal issues, and in particular places where animals intersect with cultural studies, history, or science.
This project, Pig Organ, considers cross-species organ transplant through its connection with music. The focal point of the installation is a fabricated re-imagining of a real historical “musical instrument” (invented at the behest of a medieval French king) that created a “concert of swine’s voices” by pricking live pigs. The hanging placard explains this historical reference. My version of a “pig organ” is decorated with illustrations of animals playing musical instruments made out of themselves (an elephant playing ivory piano keys, for example).
The sheet music on the nearby music stand displays lyrics from the pop/jazz song “Give You My Heart.” Alongside the Pig Organ, the refrain of the piece takes on a new, eerie tone with its implied description of organ transplantation: “So what if we don’t fit perfectly . . .
I don’t care if this wasn’t meant to be . . . Baby, I’ll Give You My Heart.”
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