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Introducing Bed Bug Hotels
Screw the Bed Bug Registry. How about something a bit more street, with some tongue-in-cheek pizazz? From the creative minds behind those hilarious Hipster Traps earlier this year comes a simple new method for identifying bed bug infestations. Just by walking the city streets. The group places handcrafted “Bed Bug Hotel” miniatures near the doorways of buildings with known issues.
We asked the brain behind the Bed Bug Hotels, Hunter Fine, a handful of questions via email. He was kind enough to respond. Shall we…?
BOWERY BOOGIE: When did you start Bed Bug Hotels? What was the inspiration behind the idea?
HUNTER FINE: Well a friend of mine got bed bugs this summer and I was like, damn if only there was a warning or something. Have you seen Mad Men? There was a scene where they cut to him as a kid and hobos had etched in wood symbols outside his childhood house that gave graphic codes that his dad was a dick and mom was a slut or something. Anyway, those were warnings to fellow hobos to avoid that place. So that’s where I got the idea, plus adding a little comic deterrent, to tell people who were passing by or future tenants that the place you are seeing has had an outbreak of the bugs.
BB: What’s the ultimate goal of Bed Bug Hotels?
HF: The goal of the bed bug hotels is to inform people where there have been outbreaks of bed bugs. Also to let the dirty management companies know that we know that there have been bed bugs at said establishments.
BB: Are you the sole artist who creates the miniatures, or do other people work with you?
HF: It was my idea, but collaborated with longtime friend, production artist Aaron Glazer to help build the traps. Aaron also worked with me and Jeff Greenspan on a project earlier this year: Hipster Traps, which got passed around on the bookface.
BB: Are the models left onsite?
HF: Yes, I leave the models there – super glued. Whatever society or the supers do with them is their business.
BB: On your Tumblr page, we noticed that you try and mobilize the community to print photos and paste them around the neighborhood. Have you seen any of these DIY placements yet?
HF: The site is new so hopefully some people will participate and put up hotels in known infestations. If they do I will gladly post on my tumblr page.
BB: Are you worried that people might paste these on building that don’t in fact have bed bugs?
HF: I hope all partipants put them up on valid bed beg infested buildings. The reason I chose the buildings that were really infested, according to the national bed bug registry, was to accurately warn people there had been an outbreak at the specific building. I don’t see a reason why someone would put a bed bug hotel at a location that hasn’t had them, but people are weird so who knows.
BB: What’s the reaction been so far to the Bed Bug Hotels? Are people engaged?
HF: Well it’s a new project, but everyone I’ve shared with or who has seen it online has liked it. That I know of. No death threats yet. I mean once bed bugs start unionizing then I’m in trouble.
BB: Anything else you’d like to add?
HF: It’s pretty amazing these days with all the social media whatnots that you can put up a street installation and connect with such a large audience outside where you live, much more than the people who actually experience it live. It says a lot for our culture and where we are headed.