The Pigtstrument is a research tool to observe pigs’ potential interest in music and sound.

While scientific research is only starting to unravel the possibilities of animal cultures, most of our knowledge in this field concerns domesticated animals. Farm animals are rather considered as food. By getting to know more about farm animals such as pigs we might be abble raise a new appreciation for them. We might be surprised that pigs are also musicians.

In collaboration with Arvid Jense and the farm Vair.

Every species develop their own way to understand the world through the perspective offered by their senses. Each animal will then develop a diferent apreciation for sound, material or even color. After several studies with the pigs I have designed together with Arvid Jense an instrument for pigs.

From a human perspective, an object made for pigs can teach us about their way to feel the world. For example, the curiosity of pigs is unsatisfiable so the Pigstrument is a complex shape made of different materials, pigs are always in movement so the object rolls around as well and they do everything as a community so several pigs can play the instrument at the same time. The metalic tubular bells have also been chosen to suit the pigs taste for this sharp clear sound.

This research started by trying to understand what king of music and sound pigs appreciate. Their sense of hearing develops very young surronded by the grunts of their mother, suckling of their siblings and rustling of other curious pigs. After different test and recordings in their environment, I composed a piece of music for pigs. However, I quickly noticed that pigs will rather be active participants in the music making than passive listeners. This was an important step to understand the pig world as it was a first failure of many experiments to come.

You can read about the full journey of this research on this process blog.

The Pig Empathy Suit and the Pigstrument were shown with the galery + - 0,0 for the exhibition Prasinec in Žilina, Slovakia in 2017.

© 2016-2017 Marie Caye