A public garden & cultural center

Art & Nature—Social Communication in the Insect World: Video Screening and Science Talk

Wave Hill House

Learn how social insects—ants, bees, termites and more—have long inspired the imagination of artists and the curiosity of scientists. In conjunction with Call & Response, the fall exhibition in Glyndor Gallery, this program presents a video art piece by former Sunroom artist aricoco, exploring the behavior of bugs that live in highly organized societies. Chemical ecologist Qian “Karen” Sun follows with a talk about how these creatures “speak,” cooperate and achieve colony-level success. 

aricoco’s new video piece, PIPORNOT’s Superorganism 101, explores the existence of insect society as a superorganism -- a highly specialized altruistic community, where an individual is dependent on the greater system for survival. PIPORNOT’s Superorganism 101 follows an absurd narrative, which mimics the form of an introductory class. The concept of non-hierarchical systems of social insects, as well as the careful relationship between the powerless insect queen (a symbol of decentralized power) and her sterile workers (a key to the altruistic society), are examined through a documented science lecture and interviews with (“real”) scientists. Entomologist Lawrence Forcella provides a display of live ants and termites and will be participating in the discussion following the presentation.

This work was made possible in part by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; with general operating support from the New York State Council on the Arts; and with editing support from the Outpost’s Cuts and Burns Residency Program.

This event is a prelude to a culminating final performance/installation piece that is scheduled to be presented at La MaMa Galleria in January 2018.

Free with admission to the grounds. 

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