Dwell: the colony

This project brought to light the small overlooked niches set into buildings in six small installations for Nocturne 2012 viewers, as they wandered the downtown core. Each one was filled with a glowing light and a translucent cover, the surface of each installation mimicking the texture of the wall surrounding it. Upon closer inspection, the cover is made from beeswax and the glow that emanates has a honeycomb pattern from within.

In the days of ancient civilizations, when the wild wasp was domesticated into the bee, humans and bees developed a close relationship with each other. An external representation of this relationship is the bees’ dwelling, the hive. The modern frame-based beehive, with its underlying principles of rationality and profit making, has existed only for some 150 years. The death of many modern hives has likely occurred due to overpopulation and inattention to the health of the colony population. This project recognizes the tenuous and precarious nature of current bee populations and draws parallels faced by our urban downtown core. We are in the process of seeing many vacant properties and small businesses dying out, replaced by huge box stores in the suburbs, due to inattention to the needs of our downtown businesses and residents. Both colonies and cities are social organisms, needing stable structures and healthy environments to prosper. This project attempts to merge concepts of social and environmental responsibility, employing beehive metaphors within a locative context.

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