BeeWork

Bees, their social organisation and collective industry have long served as a metaphor, however anthropomorphic, for human endeavour and structured labour.

We can be as busy as a bee toiling in a hive of industry, admiring of the Queen bee from our lowly position as a Drone.  Whilst these phrases may conjure up a dystopic vision of Metropolis or Brave New World with their rigid discipline and hierarchy we stereotypically admire (in a misguided and extremely anthropomorphic way) the imagined tenacity, selflessness, energetic organisation and complex built structures of the Bee.

image

We recognise Architecture in the structure of the hive, we imagine intelligent communication in the Dance of the bee and we project compassion onto the meticulous provision and care for the brood.

image

Object for 3D X-ray test.

Naturally these common anthropomorphic sentiments do not take into account the evolutionary trajectory of bees nor the concept of the hive as a super-organism but such positive public stereotypes far outweigh any visions of dystopia (which are more pertinent to the human condition).

image

Bee residence en plein air.

Our feelings may of course be cemented by our ancient and ongoing symbiosis with the Bee which was worshiped in all advanced prehistoric cultures, a reflection of the immense value of pollination, honey (the original source of sweetness par excellence) and the usefulness of bees wax.

image

Bee residence scandinavian style!

Our relationship with the Bee is a symbiotic meeting point and exchange between two social species ~ and it is this interface that BeeWorks is exploring, from both a cultural and from a biological perspective.

image

3D xray image test.

An outline ~ BeeWorks is proposed as a hybrid Art and Science collaboration based in Perth, Western Australia and has strong potentials to embrace members of the regional community.  The project is be designed in two stages, a development period, primarily research and experimentation, with a subsequent period for the development of significant exhibition and other creative outcomes.

image

Tiffany Bates inspects first test objects in the Bee Yard

BeeWorks is a collaboration between artist Dr Nigel Helyer and scientist Dr Dr Boris Baer, director of the Centre for Integrated Bee Research (CIBER, UWA) and the project will extend links to the commercial bee keeping community.

image

Test objects temporarily exposed for inspection.

image

Model saw tooth factory in metamorphoses.

The initial thematic is Architecture ~ the relationship between human and insect building and the potential to hybridise and/or restructure bee building behaviour, this may be achieved through physical and/or chemical manipulation and may consider genetic modification.

image

Model saw tooth factory in metamorphoses.

The aim will be to develop systems whereby bees can re-create or modify human designed structures, to form sculptural and architectonic works.  This trope may be familiar in science fiction ~ as autonomous or automatic architecture but little real work has been undertaken in this field.

image

Bee Dacha.

It is envisaged that the entire ‘live’ process will form the basis for a public exhibition/installation and will provide ample scope for advanced imaging outputs.

image

Moving in!

BeeWorks is supported by the Department for Culture and the Arts Western Australia.

Page 1 of 1 pages