Syslogd: nuisance.log

Part of the series New Machines for Ineffiency


Animatronic handmade copper moth, solar powered beam bot circuit

This work was installed in an alleyway in Parkdale beside the Cadillac Lounge in Toronto. Parkdale is a neighbourhood that has a rich history of artists, immigrants as well as poverty. The work was part of an exhibition curated by Phil Anderson (Gallery 1313 Director) and Tara Bursey. The exhibition was titled Telling — An audio survey of Parkdale. In this work the audio was the sound of the copper moth hitting the inside of the metal box. The work is solar powered.


The mechanical copper moth flutters inside a box trapped. The audio element in this work is the mechanical sound of the fluttering inside the box. This work is an homage to the beautiful nuisance within a series of works called Sylogd. In computer technology the syslogd is a daemon process that runs in the background and logs the issues within the system. In this work a clothing moth made out of copper becomes the tiny monument to the impedance/resistance in a system. It is a bug within the system that forces us to examine how the system functions and to understand it. Clothing moths have long been considered nuisances, pests but they are part of the natural world and only in specific constructs of our society is the moth actually doing something problematic.

Artists in the exhibition included: Luis Jacob, Myfanwy Ashmore, Zeesy Powers, Shannon Gerard, Paul Aloisi and Jaclyn Meloche

A poem about the work:

you tenacious creature
once despised for ruining
carpets and clothes
parties and politics.

Now we have synthetics
to trick you
and  pheromone traps,
Knock Down Professional KD120P Flying and Crawling Insect Killer - 454g,
B1 Home and Apartment Insecticide - 2L,
Bugkill Maxx - Available in a 1 Gallon (3.78L),
and skim milk double lattes.

We will starve your larvae
with organic triple chocolate macadamia nut cookies
and kill your lovers.
with the lure of a better life.
Smell it... smell it....
the pheromones of hot real estate.

Hiding out in the fixer upper
your freedom
wings fluttering
in the night light
in a Naphthalene stupor.

Video documentation