In Brief

Goldfish Bashes Tiny Furniture with a Hammer

Artist Neil Mendoza has endowed a goldfish with the power to “smash people stuff,” reversing the typically anthropocentric dynamics of marine power relations.

Art, as we know, is here to pose metaphysical questions about the nature of life and meaning. But also, it is sometimes here to ask: What happens if you give a fish a hammer?

It’s important, in these trying times, to take the occasional break from our struggles and focus on the adorable wrath of a goldfish, robotically engendered by artist Neil Mendoza to use a hammer to smash dollhouse furniture. The fish’s name is Smashie, and the piece is aptly titled “Fish Hammer.”

“People love to break ocean stuff,” says Mendoza in the accompanying artist’s statement. “The Fish Hammer empowers fish to break people stuff.” See, we have not even taken a break from the fight for justice and equity; we are bringing the fight straight into your living room!

Well, mostly we’re watching a goldfish smash tiny furniture with a hammer, but it would be great if you could just let us have this. It’s been a rough week.

Smashie in action (gif by Hyperallergic)
Smashie in action (gif by Hyperallergic)

PS: The author is very excited to note that robotically-enhanced goldfish appears to be a burgeoning genre and very much supports more work in this medium. “Give every goldfish a robot,” she mutters, much to the concern of everyone within earshot.

Neil Mendoza has an MA in math and computer science from Oxford University and an MFA in design media art from UCLA. Thanks to Chris Reilly for research support.

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