The idea for the vending-machine installation evolved naturally: They sort of look like pets, and they sort of look like food, Davis says of her creations. When I first got them in there, though, it looked like a little hospital. The inside was too industrial-looking it was all white plastic and metal so I had to remodel it. She painted the inside a rubbery black and installed little cloth pet beds, adding mesh wire and dividers to make the compartments look more like cages for the creatures who are made not just from fabric, but also glass, rubber, monkey fur, bones, used chew toys, used rawhide and other unexpected materials. I go out and find colorful and tactile materials and objects to buy at garage sales and other places, Davis notes.
And what kind of response has the vending machine evoked? Shock, surprise. Weirded out. Ive gotten everything from Wow, this is cool to things I dont want to repeat, says Davis. Mostly, people start getting excited and asking, What is this? What are they? One woman even asked, Do I have to spend money? These are cool, but Im really hungry.
Down in the dumps? Cheer yourself up with a little something from the Pet-o-Mat, on view through August 19 at the library (but please dont eat the artwork). For more information, log on to www.pet-o-mat.com.
June 18-Aug. 19, 2008