#snakes is a sensory exploration that questions our fears, desires, and obsession with animal ownership. This work started as a simple sketchbook project, where I drew 100 snakes in an attempt to conquer my irrational fear of snakes. I call it an irrational fear of snakes because my fears are extremely out of proportion with any interaction I’ve had with snakes. My perception of snakes mainly comes from the media I consume. Before I started this project, I had only one or two real-life interactions with snakes.

This project looks at a common phobia (ophiophobia: abnormal fear of snakes) and examines at how social-media perpetuates the fixation of snakes, whether that’s based in fear or desire. The result of said fixation is seen in the Instagram feed screen captures and Kijiji classifieds screen captures. On Instagram the snakes content ranges from professional footage of stressed animals to artist renderings; whereas on Kijiji people are selling the animals they were not able to look after. The snake footage was taken at Reptilia Zoo in Vaughan, ON, where the majority of the animals are rescue animals. The footage is overlaid to spark curiosity in the viewer, if they want to see the Kijiji Classifieds or Instagram feed clearly they can look them up.

The sound for this video is by the Edmonton based musician, Hannah Haderlein.