[(fish pain)] Series
The "singing fish" is truly representative of a fad-driven
consumer culture, but at the same time it is a technological marvel
of robotics and microcircuitry. Most people enjoy the first five
minutes of the singing fish, but then it is generally discarded,
a brief flash of technological tackiness. I was driven to try to
give this technological whimsy a longer-lasting and deeper message.
Let's face it, the fish on the wall is not "happy."
It is worrying. It is a fish out of water. It is another creature
abused and exploited by man. It is in pain. It hurts. "Fish
Pain" allows the formerly singing fish to truly speak its mind
about its predicament and pitiful place in the life of humanity.
"School of Fish Pain", 2004:
The seven fish were each provided with a small circuit to decode information
sent over the fish bus. The bus had address lines to indicate which
fish was being addressed, and three data lines to carry head, mouth, and tail
motor actuation data. Driving the fish bus was a DTMF decoding circuit. Two DTMF tones were sent for every command, one with the fish address, the other with the motor data. DTMF was chosen since it was easy to synchronize the movements with the audio. A PC played back random selections of audio clips. The clips had speech on right right channel, and DTMF fish commands on the left channel. Clips were authored using Audacity.
School of Fish Pain was shown at Fraser Gallery Bethesda "Artomatic Top 10" group show, Jan. 14 - Feb. 9 , 2005.
"Fish in Pain" maquette, 2003: