I've been working on B code since 2013, and have shown it at several venues. People want to talk to me when they see my work, but not so much about the craftsmanship or technique, but about bees themselves, and my relationship with them. They're amazed by what they learn, and the delight and surprise they feel when experiencing something completely new opens doors for people, gets them out of their shell and back into the world around them. Through this project, I've had conversations with people about gender and society, about fear and hatred of Other, the importance of public libraries for education, about the roles of biology and human society, and about government and democracy. And so on.
So where do I hope to take this project next?
The elections in my home country sparked anger, disappointment, and a call to action. Once we began to pick ourselves up and organize, artists everywhere began to realize that more than ever, the future we want to see in the world must be the future we participate in creating.
But it didn't start out that way. The first weeks after election day, all I wanted to do was stick my head into a hive- where social order, politeness, and truth are essential to daily life for honeybees. Bees make sense when nothing else does, in social structures that rival our own in terms of complexity. Meanwhile, we humans had arrived at this place in history on a platform of disgust, fear and hatred, not unlike that feeling which most people have when they think of bees- hell, insects in general. It got me thinking about how I have a completely different view of bees than many people, and that to most people, sticking your head in a hive is the most terrifying and dangerous thing one can do from the comfort of their own backyard. Rather than a way to escape, as it would feel to me, being surrounded by insects would be a completely new experience for most people.
Thus was born my next big project, working title "This is not an Emergency". I explain it in the (admittedly bad) video I recorded above. Through bees as an immersive medium, I'll be exploring the following questions, and more:
What is it like to be Other, and can we trust our leaders to guide us to rational concepts to what that means to think differently, act differently, in an egalitarian, sectarian, democratic society? How does fear motivate us, hold us back? How does trust play a role in building communities? How can we possibly expect to treat Others equally when we can't recognize ourselves in the Other? What would society look like if it were run by women? And so on. Its the start of a conversation, with open dialogue, using the social and behavioral systems of bees as a comparison to like human systems.
Here is a maquette of this is not an emergency, modelled by Yours Truly :
Below are some diagrams of how I made B code, for those out there who may some day ask me a question about fabrication. ...no emergency will be fabricated from folded aluminum cartridges with honeycomb inside and faced with plexiglas or petg on each edge. Cartridges will be assembled to form a sphere where each panel can be accessed by bees internally, confined within a double wall.