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The Rabbit Always Dies

Book and short film, estimated release summer 2024

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An experimental documentary that reveals the complex history of pregnancy tests from the 1930s-60s which relied on the use of live frogs and rabbits.

 

This work lives two parallel lives, as an 80-page risograph printed artist book and a short film that incorporates risograph animation and historical images. 

The frames of the animation are spread across the variable edition. The animation is done at 12 frames a second. Each book contains 1/4th of the frames, so though every book contains images from every second of animation, they do not contain all the same frames. As each page could be one of four options, each book in the edition is likely to have a slightly different recombination of images. 

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Pages from the book

A segment of animation 

Some places to read more about the ideas in this book:

Rabbits as pregnancy tests

The demand for pregnancy testing: The Aschheim–Zondek reaction, diagnostic versatility, and laboratory services in 1930s Britain - ScienceDirect

The Hogben test: frogs as pregnancy tests

Kean, Sam (22 August 2017). "The Birds, the Bees, and the Froggies".

 

 

Chytridiomycosis and its relationship to the Hogben Test

 

Cormier, Zoe. "How a pregnancy test caused a catastrophe for frogs". BBC Earth.

An introduction to analyzing the implications of the ways we represent animals, including looking at cartoons and children's toys.

Berger, John. Why Look at animals

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