Artist Stuart Karten Finally Finds a Use For That Excess Skin You Have Lying Around

Stuart Karten Design's Epidermits Interactive Pet
Photo by Carin Krasner. Image courtesy of Stuart Karten Design, Inc.

From the "just because we can doesn't mean we should" department, California-based design firm Stuart Karten has postmodernized the Chia Pet. These grotesque, wrinkly balls of flesh (they're made of engineered human tissue) come fully customized — your four-legged creature can be tanned, tattooed, or pierced to your desired specifications. Billed as "part pet and part fashion accessory," it can be displayed on your mantel or taken out to brunch. Either way, it's sure to generate questionable gawks and uncomfortable conversation. To see an Epidermits Interactive Pet in the flesh (ha!), stop by MoMA's "Design and the Elastic Mind" exhibition, up through May 12. —Rachel Wolff