Open Widget Area

Crawl Space


Crawl Space is from the American Cockroach video series.  I raised the roaches and built the sets.

“The roach is a scavenger and is remarkably like and unlike its human hosts. Though there are many species of roaches that live in the wild, Chalmers’ roaches find their natural habitat in our domestic habitats: under kitchen sinks, in ventilation ducts, under baseboards, in the woodwork between walls, in bathrooms and dens – anywhere that provides the roach with the necessary food, water, and shelter it needs to survive. Like us, the roach is a relatively recent immigrant to America, arriving from western Africa to American in the early years of the slave trade. The American cockroach is remarkably similar to the human hosts it thrives among: it is an omnivore; it scavenges food; it eats a lot of things that surround humans – everything from leftover food scraps to the glue in wallpaper and books. The roach has adapted almost perfectly to live among humans. It is also reviled by the people who make its life possible. When not actively the subject of extermination, the American cockroach is relegated to oblivion and repression. The lowly roach would seem to be an unlikely subject for high art.”

Tan Lin – Essay for catalogue, American Cockroach exhibition at Grand Arts, Kansas City