Meet Badger Submarine, From the Artist Who Brought You Drone Cat

Dutch artist Bart Jansen created Orvillecopter to immortalize his beloved, deceased cat. Photo: Dennis van Zuijlekom via Flickr

Bart Jansen, the Dutch artist who drew worldwide attention a few years back for turning his deceased cat Orville into a flying “copter cat” is back at it.

His latest project? A jet-propelled “badger submarine” with the working title Das Boot, a play on the 1973 Lothar-Günther Buchheim novel (and subsequent film) as well as a reference to the Dutch word for “badger,” which is “das.” According to an interview with Jansen, published today in Business Insider, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for his animal sub: so far he cannot find a laboratory willing to carry out the “plastination” process he needs (the results of which will be familiar to anyone who has seen the “Bodies” exhibit that ran for years in New York). So the badger carcass has been sitting in Jansen’s freezer for six months.

Further, badgers are a protected species in the Netherlands and owners need to prove at a local police station that a badger was not killed deliberately (Jansen reportedly got his from a friend). And due to restrictions on exporting, Jansen would not be able to tour with the badger. Similar tax and export complications applied to Canyon a work that Robert Rauschenberg created in 1959, which included a stuffed bald eagle. They are protected in the U.S. by the “Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.”

After Orvillecopter went viral, Jansen followed up by making another flying object out of an ostrich. He told Wired: “I thought it was really funny to make fly a bird that can’t.” And when a 13-year old boy, brokenhearted over the death of his pet rat “Rajetoe,” who died of cancer,  Jansen happily immortalized him as well, “transforming the deceased rodent into a remote-controlled flying machine” according to Business Insider. (See “Dutch Artists Turn Boy’s Dead Pet Into Rat Copter“).

Last year, Jansen also managed to obtain a juvenile white tip reef shark from a local aquarium. Reportedly the shark had died of a bacterial infection. Jansen turned it into “sharkjet.”


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.


Article topics