Throughout cultural history, the archetype of the mouse has been employed in a variety of pop-contexts, as a synergistic force holding a mirror to the collective and atomization of individuals within society, and often touching on complicated sociopolitical problems.
In America, Mickey Mouse, our centurion prince of capitalist realism, began his career by satiating the hunger-fraught minds of children during the Great Depression. Art Spiegelman in his novel “MAUS” uses mice as an allegory for ethnic Jews as they are forced to traverse the perilous and convoluted warrens of wartime Europe to escape the terminal grip of the feline Nazi regime. In “Flowers for Algernon”, a short story many young Americans are required to read in school, the titular mouse is a subject of lab tests that increase his intelligence and eventually kill him.
For the artist Zody Burke, the mouse is a veichle through which she asks questions about the peculiar aspect of brutality – how creating archetypes, living in fantasy and denying reality can lead to impulses to impose our data-forming mechanisms on non-human phenomena.