Requiem pour Flocons de neige Blessés / Requiem for Injured Snowflakes by Brandon Ballengée

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Requiem pour Flocons de neige Blessés / Requiem for Injured Snowflakes
Brandon Ballengée


Original musical score: Ariel Benjamin and Andrew Pasco (aka Andi Diluvian)

Photography under the direction of Brandon Ballengée by: Marissa Nolan, Frédérique Paquin and the artist
Post photography montage: Brandon Ballengée
Post video production: Barbara Fleisch



Hind-limb deformities (sometimes called “malformations”) in natural populations of amphibians have been an important environmental issue for more than a decade. The cause(s) for amphibian deformation remains scientifically controversial but the primary agents currently being investigated are parasitic trematode infection, chemical pollution, ultraviolet radiation and predation-induced injury, or a potential synergy between these. North American wetlands where amphibian populations exhibit a greater than 5% level of deformed individuals are often referred to as “hotspots”. During the 2009/10 field season we examined nearly 10,000 total amphibians at selected wetlands in Southern Quebec. Of these, seven wetlands were found to be deformed amphibian ‘hotspots’ with abnormality ratios exceeding 5% (as high as 16.92% of young frogs at one residential wetland). Through experimental simulations conducted in a public bio-art laboratory we linked predatory dragonfly nymphs to tadpole injury resulting in hindlimb abnormalities. Although, predatory injury and parasitic infection was an explanation for deformities, further research is needed to understand if incidence is influenced by environmental factors and has increased in recent decades. The research continues.
Project in collaboration with:
Redpath Museum, McGill University. Montréal, Quebec and Société des Arts Technologiques [SAT], Montréal, Quebec


Ariel Benjamin
is a designer from CT, USA. He claims to be a minimalist.

Andrew Pasco (aka Andi Diluvian)
is a multimedia artist, electroacoustic musician and mixed media sculptor. Born in Stratford, Connecticut in 1981, he received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. He produces acousmatic audio works under the name Bough.


This project is part of the OPEN Signs exhibition at the Marshall McLuhan Salon of the Embassy of Canada, curated by Heather Kelley.


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