Was it a rat I saw?

           Typographic Installation

Project advisor Mary Yang

Boston University Spring 2020

Chosen wood type specimen
There was a rampant rodent situation at the studio at the time of this project which the authorities were trying to take care of. The rodents had created quite a buzz amongst some of us who used to work till late. Shrieks of fear used to fill up the silent studio every now and then due to unwelcome chance interactions with the rats. I noticed one of my studio-mates started a dead mouse counter on one of the metallic white boards located at our studio to record the discovery of an expired specimen which I found quite amusing. Since the board was metallic, I decided to work with magnets, ferrous powder and vinyl. I had performed a science experiment back in school to figure out how the ferrous powder reacts to magnetic poles and chose to replicate it because the spike like effect of the magnetic peaks imitated the textures of a rat’s fur. Under torch-light, it created interesting shadows replicating the feel of a horror movie. I chose to work with a wood type which had an organic, eerie quality to it.  The palindrome ‘was that a rat I saw?’ worked in my advantage as I could play with the arrangement of letters and their readability to illustrate the mental state of a person who just experienced a jump scare. The installation was temporary and taken down after presentation as ferrous powder is a potential health hazard just like rodents are.


Special thanks to Arjun Kumar, Mahnoor Butt and Pratik Sarkar.