'We have him, Watson, we have him, and I dare swear that before to-morrow night he will be fluttering in our net as helpless as one of his own butterflies. A pin, a cork, and a card, and we add him to the Baker Street collection!' [Sherlock Holmes]- Hound of the Baskervilles, e.pub Chapter XII.
Why did you select this object?
Y1. Latin name of the moth is from Greek myth and related to death. In particular 'Atrops' refers to the three Moirai who hold and cut the threads of life. These same threads are drawn back together by Sherlock to solve each mysterious crime.
Y2. The European Death's Head Hawkmoth is a sociopathic predator of honey bees, mimicking their scent to raid the hive for honey. Sherlock often utilizes a psychological 'honey pot' technique to discover evidence (often using Watson to cover his scent).
Y3. The skull like pattern on the thorax plus the sharp squeal the moth makes if irritated, caused it to become a focus for superstition and fear. More recently, this has been utilized as a sinister metaphor for death, evil and bad omen by artists, filmmakers, musicians and storytellers.
Y4. 'Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle tells us, demanded acute observation, accurate data and careful method. This was precisely the view of the dedicated amateur naturalists of the period. The collection, study and classification of insect and plants, and the systematic reasoning based on the information so gathered had great implications for evolving forensic science.' [The Science of Sherlock Holmes, E.J Wagner, p.33]
Y5. Moths are already part of the Internet of Things. Many Lepidoptera are nomadic and migrate long distances. Migration routes of the Monarch butterfly are tracked by citizen scientists in the US using GSM tags placed on the underside of the hindwing.
Also, the Animal Tracker app from the Max Planc Institute in Europe tracks wildlife flight paths via cellphone towers and solar powered GPS tags. Whilst the ICARUS initiative will begin tracking GSM and GPS data of species from space in 2016.
Enabling real-time mapping of wildlife migration across the planet, analogous to the clues in Sherlock Holmes and the IoT.
Suggested User Journeys:
Nomadic moth with interactive tag on underside of hindwing; these tags link clues via animated maps across cities and the planet.
Angel of Death: Predatory element of chaos or confusion, distracting players attention, frightening them (in a fun way), or leading them on to to dead ends.
Sensory elements: A Sculpted Pattern, Taste or Smell of Honey, Startling Squeak or Graphic design used within the game, in an app, printed on the reverse of playing cards.
A Subtle Clue; disguised in an actors costume or props, requiring acute observation or alert inference in context to the crime.
Objects of Interest
Note: Underlines in Y1-5 indicate citation links to source reference material
You are welcome to add more link suggestions here:
my name is Fiona Mac, I'm based in Hereford on the Wild borders of Wales.
expanding my creative toolkit as an outsider artist-maker-gamer-puppeteer-storyteller into designing and staging collaborative, interactive stories, performances and experiences, hosted in community spaces. Very limited budget for travel and tools - however can upcycle just about anything using found objects, scrap resources and scavenging.
Improve my digital creative skills. by collaborating online as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Whilst exploring object hacking, app and game creation.