Goldfish in a blender / I know, I know / It’s really serious

Man, at this rate, “installation” art is just never going to be taken seriously. A museum director in Denmark is in court for a cruelty-to-animals charge because of his latest exhibit:

The exhibit at the Trapholt modern art museum in 2000 featured live goldfish swimming in a blender. Visitors were given the possibility of pressing the button to transform the fish into a runny liquid.

Artist Marco Evaristti, the Chilean-born bad boy of the Danish art scene, said at the time that he wanted to force people to “do battle with their conscience”.

But the Danish association Friends of Animals filed a complaint against the artist as well as the director of the museum, Peter S. Meyer, for cruelty to animals.

Police ordered Meyer to pay a 2,000-kroner (269-euro, 311-dollar) fine for failing to respect an injunction to cut the blenders’ electricity so that visitors would not be tempted to kill the goldfish.

Two goldfish died after two visitors pressed the button.

Okay, so, like, whatever about the issue of cruelty to animals. My question is — what precisely does a “bad boy” of any arts scene consist of? Rebelling against bourgeoise upper-middle-class taste? Injecting a frisson of liminal sexuality to freak out the squares? Oooooo — that‘ll show ‘em.

I’m amazed that artists are still plying this weary I’m-more-alt.-than-you crap. There is no horse more dead to flog. When conceptual art is done well, it’s crazily good. But this stuff … I mean, my kid coulda done that, and I don’t even have a kid.

(Tip of the hat to Plastic for unearthing this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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