42 Hours


Gabriel Brown and I worked in to the early morning, late morning, mid day, and evening getting the Chicken Sh@# ready for the opening on New Years Eve. By the time I went to bed, I had been up for 42 hours.


We are both pretty happy with the results, though, having live chickens in an exhibit was definitely a learning experience. They brought in quite a few people, however Gabe and I quickly realized (as we predicted) that the chickens would serve as the focal point, and almost as a distraction. While they are an important element of the show, we were discussing ways in which they could critically engage viewers rather than simply entertain them.


The pen we built was 4 feet wide, 16 feet long, and 3 feet tall. We built a floor out of two layers of cardboard, used some old beams for the fence posts, connected them with 2x4s, and tied the fencing on with hemp twine. We then covered the floor with soil and compost, and built a coop out of a cardboard box.

For the opening, we left the top of the pen open, which was a great success. About half of the nine chickens we brought in flew up to the railing and walked around for most of the evening. They were afraid of the shiny, black floor, and didn’t dare jump out of the pen.


Additional images are posted on my website.

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