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ARTISTAki Inomata
TITLEWhy Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs?

CONCEPT

Aki designed hermit crabs shells and recorded how they moved into her “shelters”. The shelters represented cities from around the world.


WEBSITEhttp://www.aki-inomata.com
EXHIBITIONS 

A shelter for hermit crabs © ?
Hermit crabs change their shells as they grow. Sometimes they are kicked out of their shelters by stronger hermit crabs and forced to exchange shells. I gave hermit crabs shells that I had made for them, and if they liked them, they moved into my “shelters”. The shelters that I made for them represented cities from around the world. My idea for this piece came about when I participated in the “No Man’s Land” exhibition that was held at the French Embassy in Japan in 2009. This work was inspired by the fact that the land of the former French Embassy in Japan had been French until October 2009, and then became Japanese for the following fifty years, after which it will be returned to France. I was surprised to hear this story, and associated this image with the way that hermit crabs exchange shelters. A piece of land is peacefully exchanged between two countries. While it is the same piece of land, our definition of it changes. In the same way, the appearance of hermit crabs changes completely as they exchange shelters. The hermit crabs in my piece, who exchange shelters representing cities of the world, seem to be crossing over national borders. It also brings to mind migrants and refugees changing their nationalities and the places where they live. The first time that I made this piece, I only gave the hermit crabs spherical shapes, but they ignored my “shelters”. Using CT scans, I studied the natural shapes of hermit crab shells, and by printing out the 3DCG data using 3D printers, I was able to create “shelters” that the hermit crabs would move into.

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About the authors

View full profile Lena Asai from London & Tokyo

I study Design (BA) at Goldsmiths, University of London. I am a member of London Biohackspace, the UK’s first community lab, and is interested in exploring the relationship between art, design, and synthetic biology. I am participating in iGEM 2015 in the
Community Labs Track representing London Biohackspace. My team is developing a library of yeast strains for beer brewers. Feel free to drop me a message!

View full profile Jérôme Lutz from Berlin & Munich, Germany

I like to share the great things I discover daily while researching and working in the field of Synthetic Biology.

When I talk to people about it, they often refer to Science Fiction. However, when I send them links to this wiki and they read through those pages, they start understanding that this is real and it's happening right now.

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