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S.O.S. 5p.m. West

Tattfoo Tan

October 2013 - February 2016

Presented by Jimbo’s


This project is a chicken coop installed in the Museum’s Outdoor Terrace located on the Lower Level and visible from different vantage points and via our chicken cam. Interaction with our chickens is made possible through daily workshops held at our Chicken Check-in.

Located: Lower Level Outdoor Terrace – Viewing Only, No Direct Access to Coop

Key Materials: chickens and chicken coop

Click here to view Tattfoo's other art installation, Nature Matching System (NMS).

What is it?

Live chickens!

S.O.S. 5p.m. West features egg-laying chickens living in the museum’s urban setting. The chickens are part of a larger art project that embraces a green lifestyle that is both healthy for participants and environmentally responsible. Tattfoo created the original p.m. project to house 5 chickens (or poop machines as Tattfoo affectionately refers to them) in his Staten Island home and studio. This project allows artist Tattfoo to demonstrate the hands-on steps that people can take to participate in creating a more sustainable environment. By raising egg-laying chickens, we learn about this natural process, provide a humane environment for our feathered friends and produce healthy, chemical-free eggs for consumption. The coop is not accessible for visitors but the chickens can also be viewed in our Museum via our chicken cams and direct interaction is possible at our Chicken Check-in through our hands-on workshops.

What will I do when I get there?

  • Count the number of chickens in the coop and chicken run. 
  • Watch how the chickens move around in the coop and interact with each other. What activities do you see?
  • Watch for our S.O.S. Steward who cares for and cleans up after the chickens daily, and ask them about their responsibilities.
  • Visit the Main Level for our daily Chicken Check-in workshops. Meet, pet and feed our chickens and learn about urban chicken keeping. See our daily schedule.

Who made this?

Tattfoo Tan is a New York-based artist, who playfully combines food and art to encourage audiences to live healthier and more environmentally sustainable lives. His work involves audience participation so that the making of art becomes a shared experience. Tattfoo designs his works to be transitory and conceptual in nature while also being engaging and educational. In regards to combining art and food in his work, Tattfoo says, “art sometimes can be intimidating; in contrast, we are very comfortable with food. If we can use food as a medium and infuse it with art, then that would be the perfect recipe.”

In 2010, Tattfoo was awarded the Annual Award for Excellence in Design for a public design commission for the City of New York. Currently working in Staten Island, NY, he has had solo exhibitions at Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, Peng Gallery in Philadelphia and Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York and participated in group exhibitions at institutions, such as Parsons The New School for Design in New York and Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia.

Artist Website:

Chicken Check-in: Meet the Chickens!

Located: Main Level, next to the Welcome Desk

Our chickens want to meet you! At scheduled times during the day, our chickens will come out of their coop for facilitated visits with museum guests. Portraits of their East Coast counterparts, the original S.O.S. 5p.m., are hanging on the wall.

  • Check our daily schedule for chicken activities.
  • Observe our 5p.m. chickens on the monitor via a live feed from our chicken camera.

What can I do at home?

 To extend your museum experience, try the following activities at home.

Creative Action

  • Find out if any of your friends have chickens, ask if you can visit to see them up close.

Creative Play

  • Follow our egg count on Twitter @iheartncm. How many eggs were collected today? How many have been collected in total?


  • Learn how easy it is to raise chickens at home. Use the Internet or books to look up ideas for how you can raise chickens in your own backyard. Could you raise chickens at home?