Architects of Labor: Ants, Art, & Science
Architects of Labor: Ants, Art, & Science

I think the thing that was really
interesting for me that I didn’t see coming was also being informed by the
ants and seeing how the ants labor you know the work that they’re doing and
thinking about the scale of work they’re doing and the
repetition in their work and how that relates to my work found it in fibers I’m Gabrielle Duggan I’m an artist I’m Adrian Smith I’m a biologist and we’re here to talk about art and science collaboration and specifically the piece
that we collaborated on in my lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences dealing with ant nest architecture and the processes of
art and science really So you went out in the field with us to to make the cast of the ant nest that’s it’s incorporated in your piece. That’s one of
the coolest parts of doing research my sort of research is that like we can go
out into a forest like pour a bunch of dental plaster down a hole that’s like
this size right and then we come out with like this crazy complex
structure that these animals have built that was completely outside of our
view before that It’s pretty hard labor to excavate this nest to go out there find the nests and then set everything up that’s stuff that you would
never seeing that piece upstairs so that’s something that I relate to
the ants with is labor and labor plays into fiber works specifically a lot and
and also people’s perceptions of art as a whole people are always impressed by
more labor you constructed the piece in the lab the experiments that I’ve done in the lab while you’ve been there have basically shown that whatever
hypothesis I thought might be working probably isn’t working and so that
sort of stuff is is process research for me and that it might not even end up in
the final product in the you know scientific paper that I write. Yes, there’s a lot of invisible work I’ve been I’ve been thinking about invisible
work a lot in that so much time put into all the work around the work
the work that supports the capital W work the stuff that I’m doing the
piece that we have in the lab right now technically the textile method that’s
involved is crochet even though it’s it’s using a crochet stitch to make this
weird web effect I absolutely couldn’t do it without being a weaver which is a
completely different process and has a lot of like prep work going into it and
so it’s my knowledge of having that prep work as a weaver is the thing that lets
me work with tension like this on the fly but you don’t see that you would
never think weaver you I’m not weaving but that knowledge and years of
experience with weaving is now showing up and being there for me Well, it was awesome to have you in the lab It’s exciting to have something to show after
that and that will live on at least for a little bit in the lab Thank you thanks
for having me

2 thoughts on “Architects of Labor: Ants, Art, & Science”

  1. ateronde says:

    I recently had the pleasure of transcribing an interview that led me here. I'm happy to have discovered an interesting world I previously knew nothing about. Also, because this is the internet and this video has no comments saying it already, you two are cute together!

  2. Hey Ants says:

    Love this video!

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