Pogonomyrmex/Homo 5, Phase 3 

 

This work is a gallery-based system-work that activates self-organization to question how multiple species (ants and humans) can exist in a shared environment. Boundaries (temporary and permanent) and pathways (for humans and/or nonhumans) are tested as a means of observing movement through space. 

There are two systems: one is a partially closed system and the other is an open experimental zone.

 

The closed system is a six foot tall black box, raised on a pile of gravel and surrounded by concrete, human-sized stairs and ramps. The bottom of the box is filled with various types of sand and 500 harvester ants. Ants are chosen as the nonhuman participant for their abilities to self organize. The walls of the black box are made with multiple materials for their differences in porosity. Strings, crystalized with sugar, hang in the box. These serve as vertical pathways and a food source for the ants. 

The experimental, open-system section extends throughout the rest of the room. Lines of cayenne pepper and cinnamon powder outline large areas. The spices serve as temporary boundaries; ants avoid the material until the spices lose potency. These lines also question the behavior of the human in a gallery space. To see the installation fully, the human must step over the lines, so that both species share a single area. Other experimental tools include various types of lights, heaters, and microphones. 

Pogonomyrmex/Homo 5, Phase 3 uses the gallery as a frame to contain other framing devices. The events are ongoing throughout the duration of the exhibition. The data is collected and recorded, and the parts are disassembled and repurposed into new works. 

 

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