What the Duck?!

What the Duck?! is an interactive installation and sound piece. This project was developed for the Media and Arts Technology CruftFest and was exhibited at the Cuntomporary Ecofutures Festival 2019.

Plastic pollution is a term propagated a lot recently in the media. Even though there might be heightened awareness around the issue, there are still countless commodities we use daily made of plastic. When I found a bag of rubber ducks at a flea market I knew they would be a great material to work with. Plastic pollution is such an immensely huge problem, effecting all of us, but seems far away as it’s not directly visible in the western world. With this work I want to bridge this gap and translate this vast problem into a more human size narrative.

The chemical Bisphenol A, found in most plastic products, slowly dissolves in the oceans and enters our food chain in considerable amounts through the fish that we eat and the water we drink. BPA mimics the structure of the hormone oestrogen and can imitate its functions in the body. It can have severe impacts on fertility, mainly by influencing the male’s ability to generate good quality sperm.

It is a byproduct of the capitalist, patriarchal economy of greed that leads to a massive production of non-degradable waste every single day. In my work, 12 heteronormative, male, capitalist ducks discuss plastic pollution, slowly realising they are reducing their potential to reproduce, and eventually are responsible for eradicating their species.

The 12 plastic ducks are placed on a pond which is an interactive interface. When one duck is picked up by a user the user can listen to one track of the duck’s conversation. When the second duck is being picked up the next track plays and so forth, until there are no ducks left on the pond.

All ducks need to be picked up in order to listen to the full conversation. At the same time the user is encouraged to try and balance all 12 ducks in their arms while listening. The user will so experience the burden of toxic masculinity and plastic pollution that mother earth cannot handle anymore.

No ducks were harmed in the making of this work.

All materials used are recycled.

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