Delicate Balance allows a Siamese fighting fish to determine the movement and direction along a stainless-steel wire. While balancing it can explore its environment beyond the limits of the tank. Why a Siamese Fighting fish on a wire? Well as a clear reference to the challenges that fish and other living creatures are experiencing in trying to sustain themselves on a planet overwhelmed by human habitation.

Siamese Fighting fish were chosen in particular given their aggressive inbreeding for purposes of beauty and sadly fighting as well as the fact they are top breathers and come up for air.


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Bettas have excellent sight giving them the ability to see far outside the tank.

I wanted to give this Betta Splendons (Siamese fighting fish) the ability to virtually leave the tank by moving it back and forth.

The water is heated to the natural comfort level of the fish, a tropical 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The fish determines the direction by crossing a break – beam which activates the motor to move the tank in the direction in which the fish looks to the outside world.

On a tower at one end of the tightwire is a mounted rearview mirror, that allows the fish to look at himself and contemplate himself and “others”. Does the fish recognize this own image or think it is an opposing male? I would like to know.


While the fish can move on the tightwire back and forth, of course, this is not really a choice at all. It is a polemical space, a tight wire balancing act, speaking to an environmental delicate balance in danger.

Can we feel the delicate beauty of this living being and acknowledge its right to exist and show sensitivity to its right for some unmitigated self-determination.

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