by Inigo del Castillo in New Art on Thursday 12 June 2014

Snails and slugs as headphones? Might get a bit slobbery but who knows, the sound quality might be superb! Prague-based artist Klara Pernicova made these quirky heaphones in an attempt to unsettle people in their judgement of things we’ve taken for granted. In this exclusive interview, she talks more about why she made the mollusc headphones and how it has disturbed the people who have seen it. [you can read our original post about her here.]

Where did the inspiration for the mollusk headphones come from?
I observe people surrounding me and I found they very often add some artificial things on their body. They for example wear pieces of metal (such as gold, steel, atc.) or some eletronic devices as well. Today´s human voluntarily inserts a piece of plastic (and a small speaker) into his ear, while he would be totally scared if it would be a slug what came into it. So I am asking where is the borderline between a piece of plastic and living animal.

Both are the same strange for our body but one of them is more ‘natural‘. The shape of earphone is pretty similar to the shape of slug or snail. And slug or snail can give an ergonomics shape to itself very easily. So I created this pair of headphones as a part of my project ‘Natural accessories‘. There are much more other things. For example tick earrings, louse bobby pin, ear bobby pin, pimple piercing, zipper fastener for trousers which looks like a tiny penis, and so on. And there is a video, wherein I shot within the work on headphones

Have you actually tried it out in public? If so, have you gotten any weird or concerned looks?
People are always concerned and scared when I wear my tick earrings. I used to carry my stuff in my backpack which looks like a camel hump and they were laughing at me. Then I sewed a funny bag looked like cow´s udder and everybody was entertained as well.

Please take us through your creative process whenever you attempt to modify things to, in your own words, ‘unsettle people in their judgments’.
As I said, I am trying to recognize the borderline between a beautiful accessory, natural part of body or even ugly blemish appeared on our epidermis. I think about decorating the body in this specific way and I am trying to point it out for other people.

I always detect an item which is in actual fact the same as the one ordinarily acceptable for people to be added on their body. But this kind of items is usually considered to be something completely different from beautiful accessory.

However I am trying to point out the similarities between those two objects. And demonstrate a sort of weirdness of human´s behaving.

Do you feel you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do with the mollusk headphones?
Well, I hope so. I would like people to think about decorating or improving theirself with some jewels or electronic devices. If somebody find the similarities between the shape of slug and earphone or if he or she conscious the diferences between plastic and skin (does not metter if human or animal skin) then I was successful. And if somebody things it is funny, I am glad as well.