33 1/3 RPM Sunset Colony
33 1/3 RPM Sunset Colony is a genetically programmed virtual bufo toads which thrive in the presence of the highest forms and locations of art. When a colony begins to breed, the toads try to take on the aesthetics of the artists and artworks at a given location, in this case the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. The sign of this response is the changing of their skin color to a sunset image of the concurrent show artist, Catherine Opie, and their rotating movement at approximately 33 1/3 RPM to match the 2nd concurrent show, “The Record.” Because the toads maintain a psychotropic drug secreted from their skin, viewers that come in contact with group arrangements of the toads will experience triggered “hallucinations” populated by cascading internet information and imagery. The psychotropic effect of touching the toad’s skin represents not only the transference of the drug but the ecstatic meeting of the physical viewer and the virtual world.
In 2008 Researchers WD Pappenheimer and JC Freeman, at the artistic medical laboratory, Virta-Flaneurazine, bred a hardy specimen of Bufo Virtanus which flourishes particularly well across the mixed realms of real and virtual worlds. The prototype is the bufo toad, the species known in Australia as the Cane Toad, which was introduced to Queensland in 1935 to combat the Cane Beetle. Unfortunately this bio-attack never solved the beetle problem and the giant species of cane toads instead became an uncontrollable infestation. A subspecies of Bufo Virtanus was first produced for an augmented reality exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in November, 2010. Since this initial introduction, colonies have begun to propagate from Chelsea to Sydney, Australia, and now at the ICA, Boston. Aside from the medical interests of the company, Virta-Flaneurazine, these outbreaks are considered to be both fantastic encounters as well as unwanted infestations.