Hamster Treadmill

“Hamster Treadmill” was a collaboration between local Chicago artist Xiao Ma (xma1.com) and myself. I created an IR beam based tachometer, which allowed me to measure the RPM of the hamster wheel. Once the RPM is known, it is calculated, then mapped to the motor speed of the treadmill in real time. This allows the hamster full control of the treadmill speed. Hamsters find fulfillment in the wheel, a ‘runners high’ effect shared amongst humans . “Hamster Treadmill” is a realtime interactive installation showing a strong contrast in a performative approach.

“Hamster Treadmill” investigates the role reversal between domesticated animals and their human owners.

The hamster was in no way harmed during the duration of this piece. Hamster was supplied food and water (along with proper oxygen ventilation) for the duration of installation (a day). Of course these necessities are continuously supplied afterwards.

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