New York City has a growing population not only of humans but also of rats. The way trash is being treated in the city helps the last one to grow. Rats go out under cover of darkness. My last experience with rats on my way home after a TNO in which I run into about 20 rats scurrying out of garbage bags. That experience led my think of them as shadows and I was inspired to create an interactive silhouette stop-motion animation of rats.

First, I created a very simple animation in order to examine how the projection looks like on different plans (wall vs. trash).

The animation set. Paper cuts on a light box.




After the first test, I “cut to the chase”. I laser cut 7 different mice figures from a carmine Bristol board.


Laser Cut Test


White paper rat figures – Test



I took the animation and divided it into 3 parts. When nothing happens the trash X-Ray projection is being played in a loop. The second part is triggered when something is being thrown into the trash bin and the rats run, the third part is a white background.

The full animation:

The Max patch with video outputs:


The next step is to use an IR break beam sensor that will direct motion – when one will through something to the trash can the rats will reveal themselves.

Categories: Readymades, Temporary Expert

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *