【纽约客】Buzz Off! 灭蚊艺术家(连载)
来源：纽约客 2011-10-25 17:13
Attention, mosquitoes:The biting season may be almost over, but Dennis Ashbaugh is still out to get you. Ashbaugh, an artist who is best known for his oversized paintings of DNA and computer viruses, first declared war against you two years ago, while he was vacationing in Tenants Harbor, Maine, during a particularly buggy stretch. Since then, in Maine and West Palm Beach, Florida, he has been beachcombing, not only for rocks, twigs, and shells but also for such detritus as shish-kebab skewers, Fritos bags, surgical masks, lighters, lawn chairs, key-chain cameras, and candelabra parts. From these he fabricates aesthetically pleasing traps designed to squash, squeeze, torch, shoot, and electrocute you and your fellow-mosquitoes. To death.
Not long ago, in Wainscott, Long Island, Ashbaugh laid out the hundred and twenty-five or so of his Rube Goldbergian contraptions in a warehouse space that he leases to store his paintings, as well as a few cherished objects, including a pornography tract called "Ladies' Mistakes" that, according to a receipt found inside the book, was purchased by Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA, in 1954, for fifteen dollars. Most of the floor was covered with the bug traps, which made walking tricky. If Ashbaugh were five years old and you were his mother, you would tell him to clean up the playroom, pronto.
He'd been preparing to transport the traps to his apartment in New York while he looked for a studio in which to display them. To date, only friends of Ashbaugh have seen the traps. Among those who have bought them are several Nobel Prize winners in biology, a Maryland folklorist, the writer Paul Theroux(who paid with a first edition of his novel "The Mosquito Coast"), and a nine-year-old who funded the purchase with her allowance.
"All the traps function, but it might take weeks, or even years, for a mosquito to fly into the kill zone," Ashbaugh said, showing off a model he calls the Culicutron(pronounced kill-a-q-tron, and derived from "culicide",which means the murdering of mosquitoes). The gadget, which is about a foot long, looks like a praying mantis, with sticks as appendages, an electric power strip for an abdomen, and, instead of antennae, a frizzy entanglement of copper wire. “