The Null Device

"Hmmm... what does this button do?"

Interactive art vs. animal rights A Danish art gallery director is facing trial for animal cruelty after hosting an exhibit featuring goldfish swimming in a blender. The artist who created the exhibit, Marco Evaristtis, said that he wanted to make people "do battle with their conscience" when confronted with the switch. Throughout the course of the exhibition, two members of the public decided to press the switch (out of curiosity, disbelief that the blender could be live, or sheer sociopathic callousness; who knows?), killing the live goldfish. The gallery director is being sued for failing to cut off the electricity supply to the blender, which he says he didn't do as not to interfere with the artist's vision.

There are 5 comments on ""Hmmm... what does this button do?"":

Posted by: mark Tue May 13 13:49:37 2003

I love that idea. But only two people pressed it?

Posted by: Graham Tue May 13 14:17:29 2003

Umm, and what about the people who actually flicked the switch? No doubt the artist and the curator are culpable, but... that's just messed up.

Posted by: acb Tue May 13 14:53:06 2003

It reaffirms the conclusion that when it takes two or more people to make a fatal decision, each will always assume that they're absolved from responsibility because someone else was involved. Like that experiment where one person was instructing another via a radio link to do bad things, and both parties assumed that the other was the guilty party because (he gave the orders/he did the deeds).

Posted by: Alex http:// Wed May 14 12:45:32 2003

Or that experiment with the people off the street administering 'nearly lethal' electric shocks to complete strangers because someone in a lab coat told them to. Thus demonstrating that yes, Veronica, the Holocaust could happen again, anywhere, anytime. whoops

Posted by: Graham Wed May 14 14:24:42 2003

Ahh, Milgram's experiment strikes again.