Take MIDI remote control, electrical impulses fed to the twitching corpses of dissected frogs, and add water. What you get? Creepy-as-hell “zombie frog ballet,” in a work sent to us by a reader. The work of Shanghai, China artist LuYang (apparently now living in Japan), you can at least take comfort in the fact that these frogs were dead – not killed for the experiment. I hope I get to do some dancing after I’m gone. But yes, it can be a bit … disturbing.

After many years of doing this, and seeing some astounding things, I think Necromancy qualifies as the strangest application of MIDI yet.

In English and Japanese:

My project “Revived Zombie Frogs Underwater Ballet,” originally started from 2009 has been consummated as a video work. This work takes a form of MTV showing dead frog’s dance controlled by Midi controller and Midi signal. For the avoidance of cruelty to animals, dead frog bodies originally used in a medical dissection experiment were re-used for this work.
Because of my strong affinity with CONTROL, the control of people and animals, I have been creating my works by using technology and various media. Such a control totally relies on the cerebration of human and they cannot escape from the physiological reality. Yet they use their bodies to create devices so they can break away from these limitations while they are being controlled by their physical form or illness.
I have strongly desired to substantiate a cross-cutting collaboration work. Art itself is a small discipline and I am hoping to learn more by combining it with other disciplines.
Finally I would like to express my sincere appreciation for Fukuoka Asian Art Museum and all technical specialists and their staff members who cooperated with my art-making.
2009年より考えてきた「復活!水中カエルゾンビバレエ」 を、ここに映像作品として実現することができました。この作品はミュージックビデオの形をとっており、MidiコントローラーとMidi信号で蛙の死骸をコントロールしてダンスを演出します。この作品で使った蛙の死骸は解剖実験で使用されたものであり、動物虐待に関与するものではありません。
私は、これまでテクノロジーや様々な表現手段を使って、作品を制作してきましたが、それは「コントロール」に対する関心があるからです。人間のコントロールと生物のコントロール。人間の思考がこのようなコントロールを左右し、また人と動物は共に生理的な限界からは逃れられません。しかし、自身の肉体の構造や病にコントロールされながらも、同時に、肉体が生み出す道具によって、コントロールに対し抵抗しているのです。
私はこれまでジャンル横断的なコラボレーションを実現させたいと強く望んできました。アートはとても小さな領域にしかすぎません。こうしたコラボレーションによって、異なる領域からたくさんのことを学べると信じていますし、とても期待しています。
最後に福岡アジア美術館、およびこの作品制作に協力いただいた専門技術のスタッフに、心より感謝いたします。

Fortunately, LuYang seems to like living frogs, too, as evidenced by this psychedelic pet Keroro freak-out:

And now I know this means “ribbit ribbit ribbit ribbit…”

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  • Nils

    Please don’t give videos like this more popularity.

  • Eduardoaram

    Very cruel and stupid project. Don’t use animals for this kind of experiment. 

  • Steve

    What, no top hats and canes? Pfft.

  • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

    Like I said, I felt myself a bit disturbed. But this raises the question – why did I feel that way? These frogs were already dead, already dissected. To me, this makes me wonder how I feel about, well, dead things. 

    So, yes, this is what it is – and I don’t only write about the things I like or find pretty or resonate with.

  • Eof

    not cool. It’s not about if they’re dead or not… it’s about respecting other creatures.

  • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

    Like I said, I found myself somewhat repelled by it, but writing about it is not an endorsement. All our muscles have these electrical pathways. I think maybe the reason I’m not motivated to do something like this is the same reason others don’t like it, that is, that it creates a strange and arguably perverse relationship with the creatures.

  • abc

    clearly made by a slightly disturbed individula

  • Dusan

    You’re an asshole…