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11-30-2003, 02:28 PM
what do I do
I want to create a sculpture that will some how encase a map in clear plastic and a another box ontop of that made out of clear plastic with all the details of the map like clear trees and clear houses.I want the map to be a famous civil war.And inside this box will be maggots that eat each other.The point is to stress how I feel about war.The problem is is that I dont know if the smell would be bad and I dont know if the maggots would eat their weeker brothers and sisters bodies. and I dont know if it would work.It seemed a good idea but it seems to have lots of problems.I could see it being good if it worked.What do you think?

Rose Queen
11-30-2003, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by schultz
...What do you think?

It sounds like an interesting idea, but I think you need the advice of someone more versed in biology than we're likely to be. Do you have a community college or university nearby where you could inquire?

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11-30-2003, 02:59 PM
im 14 Il ask my science teacher. If id did all work what do you think?

Rose Queen
11-30-2003, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by schultz
If id did all work what do you think?

I think art is highly personal and it matters way more what you think! If you trim your sails to the views of others, it cannot possibly be the best art you can do, which would be a shame.

Since not everyone is likely to respond positively to a piece of art such as you described, it might be helpful for you to remember the words of Grace Hartigan:

Art is still the only place in the world where you can do exactly what you want if you pay the price, which is having no one else want it.

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11-30-2003, 03:29 PM
yeah where would I put it?

Rose Queen
11-30-2003, 03:35 PM
Are you asking where you would post it here on WetCanvas or where you would place such a sculpture in real life? I can help you with the former, but I don't know anything about your situation that would help me advise you as to the latter.

If you're asking about the latter, I might suggest you post your question in the Cafe Guerbois, sculpture and the art business forums (it's OK to cross-post here as long as you don't run wild ;) ). You'll get the widest input that way.

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11-30-2003, 03:38 PM
no I mean where to put the sculpture in a random feild my mum would not let me keep it in the house.

11-30-2003, 03:59 PM
The only problem I see is that maggots can't live in just any conditions. They do need certain levels of moisture and warmth, if you have them just in an open box they'll most likely die.

Not to mention, if they do survive, you'll have a hoarde of flies wherever you're housing this project.

Other than that though is sounds neat.

Keith Russell
12-03-2003, 12:47 AM
Why use real maggots?

Why not use photographs of maggots, to depict your point?

Or, draw and/or paint (or sculpt) the soldiers as 'maggot-like', somehow?

In this way, you could far more accurately control the balance between the soldier-like and the maggot-like.

Real maggots might not 'read' well as a metaphor for war...since they are, after all, first and foremost, maggots.


12-03-2003, 01:07 AM
Just technically, from my experience with maggots, I doubt that they'd eat each other. They're more interested in consuming whatever it is they're living on (fruit, or leaves, or mold, or whatever), and if they couldn't have that (I mean, if you'd starve them to induce them to cannibalism) they'd probably just up and die. I think the idea for a piece of art is great (revolting, but good!), but I agree with Keith- I think fake maggots would make the point better, and solve the problem of keeping a terrarium at the same time as creating art. You could check with a science store, or some kind of joke shop, they sometimes have such things as rubber worms.

12-09-2003, 10:12 AM
I think this sounds like a very exciting idea.
I am particularly impressed that at the age of fourteen you have conceptualized something that sounds insightful, impactful, meaningful and understandable.

I think your original plan would be most impressive, having live maggots under glass squirming beneath the battlefield. If my understanding of this concept is correct, it sounds like a very powerful installation.

Real maggots are parasites, and will feed off of a host, and are unlikely to eat one another. A small amount of food in the display would keep them going and squirming. Contrary to myth and wives' tales, maggots don't necessarily have to eat garbage. You could feed them in a fashion similar to an ant farm. The drawback is that you typically have about a 3-day window when they will be larvae, after which they will grow to pupal stage.

Perhaps you could consider meal worms or even sea worms. Meal worms resemble maggots and I believe they are available live from pet shops. (They're used to feed pet lizards & turtles)

Sea worms are wormy, but nasty looking, so that's why they occur to me.

Insects will need warm conditions, so you could build in some heat in the base of the sculpture. A simple lightbulb would suffice, or you can buy (or borrow, or perhaps you own) a "heat rock". This looks like a rock but is made of resin and has an electric heating coil in it. Available again from pet stores, this rock is for cold-blooded pets such as iguanas or snakes.

For your sculpture, I would consider using polyester resin. It is near glass-clear and will dry hard as rock. It is chiefly used in autobody work, and is an epoxy.
You will need to check with your adult support group to see if this is appropriate and does not expose you to some health hazard.

Using the first (color) base relief map, you could easily make a mold (plaster of paris), then coat the inside of the mold with a layer of poly resin epoxy. The result will be a clear duplicate of the first "map" or battle scene.

Frame the color map with 1" high plexiglass around the edges for the maggot space. (drill plenty of air holes)

Glue the pieces together with superglue, RTV silicone or the like. (Again-you'll need to be responsible for safe handling of these ingredients. Read all caution labels and wear gloves, eye protection and breathing protection if so advised.)

I think the live bugs would be great for a "show", if you're doing an art fair or science fair.

With a 3-day limit for the larvae, perhaps you could replace them with fake bugs after the inaugral showing of the work.

You could also look into the possibility of placing live video of squirming bugs in this layer. If you built it right, you could have a small TV screen or PC monitor laying flat playing bug video.

I've heard of and seen many pieces by established artists that use innovative elements such as this, but frankly yours is one of the best ideas I've heard (my personal opinion) for a potentially "gross" installation that would have a clear and distinctive message.

Just stick to it and do it. Don't be discouraged or distracted by anyone that implies it couldn't be done.

Under the right circumstances, I would not be surprised if it ends up in a collection. Perhaps the school or public library.

Best of luck with your project!

Keep in touch.

12-11-2003, 12:25 PM
Thanks for all the replys Yes I may now make the same think with model ones but have a tft screen as the magots veiw and on the vidieo it having real maggots.
jon s