“It doesn’t take a big a big brain to be an artist” states Maria Fernanda Cardoso, former Queen of the Fleas, now working with the most talented, charming — and tiny — Australian jumping spiders of the Maratus family, popularly known as “peacock spiders’. In this series of videos and photographs, we witness the performance and looks of the male spiders dance-like display to their female partners. They show us that they are no less talented than any visual and performing human artists. Cardoso proposes that art is a bi-product of the process of sexual selection, and with these short videos, she makes her point titling them “On the Origins of Art I and II”, referencing Charles Darwin who was the first to acknowledge the “powers of discrimination and taste on the part of the female” when choosing a mate.
The audience experiences the tactile sound these spiders use to communicate, captured through a laser vibrometer, and conveyed to human ears and feet by sound artist Andrew Belletty.
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