Olufsen the eighth, a free roaming nocturnal katydid called my apartment kitchen home, transforming a time of extraordinary illness, caring for me as I cared for them, as ‘kin’ .


Co-habiting with olufsen evoked memories of a childhood filled with the care, maintenance and protection of creatures. Hatching lizards under my reading lamp, bottle-feeding bats, spotlighting peripatetic turtles through the night, my whole family carrying an aviary inside through the middle of a cyclone. How these early practices have served me well as an adult, teaching me to care for family members through life and death, and now myself. By contrast a recently commissioned artwork on entomophagy, required me to hold and feed, sacrifice then devour my tiny collaborators, invoking the deep trouble in being humane, an imperfection of care that is distinctly human.


For whom do I choose to care and when?
Which pain and whose will I ignore?
Who am I today? Carer or the cared for?

Further reading: H.A. Allard (1929). The Cleaning Habits of a Katydid, In The American Naturalist, University of Chicago Press.

Dust and Shadow Reader Vol. 2. Previous: on animal faith. Next: inframince

  • dust_and_shadow/olufsenandi.txt
  • Last modified: 2020-01-03 05:13
  • by nik