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Proposal for Moma PS1

Atractor | Swarm: Fulldome Version Produced by Hyphen Hub Atractor: Carolina Castillo Sofía Rojas Alejandro Villegas Juan Cortés 2018

The Fulldome version of Swarm is inspired by three important structures for the location and communication abilities in bees: the compound Eye, the hive and the sun. With a particular system of color selection in the compound eye - which includes receptors for UV, blue and green - the bees receive the signals that the plants send them for pollination using ultraviolet light patterns that take them to a precise place in the flower. At the time of returning to the hive, the bees use the Azimuth of the sun that allows them to triangulate the exact position between the hive, the flower and the sun in the horizon. Once in the Hive, the bees are able to use the vibration to communicate geolocation instructions through the cells of the honeycomb, these signals are perceived by bees in other places of the hive and are used as a guide to be located outside the hive. Being part of a hive involves all these types of behaviors in order for the entire community to survive. Each individual depends entirely on the rest and the survival of the whole leans on every bee doing its chores correctly. Community living is of greater importance than the success of a single individual, thus, they rely on permanent altruism, something called by scientists as Kin Selection. It is not common to find truly altruistic behaviors in nature, but when family or society in general is more important than the individual, they can all work together for the greater benefit.

ATRACTOR | Swarm - Fulldome Version Swarm - Fulldome Version -takes an unconventional look at the complexity of the communication patterns of bees through the sampling of swarms, genarative visuals, AR, performance and a series of sound instruments based on hives. The performance is based on the research by James L Gould, who discovered that wild bees have sophisticated powers of deduction and can come to a conclusion based on patterns built on past experiences. Such abilities can hardly be explained with the current definitions of consciousness and language in animals (or the interdependence of both). The isolated mental capacity of a single bee can not support such complexity. In order to find some linguistic structure it is necessary to approach the behavior of swarms and not the study of individuals. For expample, the movements in the waggle dance (bee communication dance) can be considered as "bits" of a larger logic residing in corporal patterns interpreted through dance and similar in structure to the capacity of human speech. In other words, although the dance of a bee is not comparable to the complex discourse of a human individual, perhaps the interactive vocal pattern of the hive is and can be considered as evidence of a comparable mental structure. Isolating and studying only the individual's calls is analogous to focusing only on the separate phonemes of human language and not on its grammar.

Bees, like most other insects, have compound eyes composed by 6000 ommatidia, arranged over an hemispherical surface on the head of the bee and pointing in slightly different directions, each one acting like a simple eye. The picture they see is put together from many separate single points, this does not mean that the bee sees a lot of little pictures of her sorroundings, as each ommatidium contributes something like a pixel to the overall image, something like the photoreceptors in the retina of our eyes. Although bees can not see the world as sharp as our mammalian eyes, they can see up to 300 pictures per second, while we humans can see only 65, bees can see in “slow motion” rapid movements that to us would appear blurred. And off course bees have a complex color system, different from ours, with three color receptors: for UV, blue and green (they lack a photoreceptor for red), which means colors look very different, red blooms appears as black blobs. Bees are important pollinators for plants, thus flowers must attract bees using color as an advertisement. Flowers have developed surfaces that strongly reflect UV light in patterns that look like landing-stripes guiding the bees to “the right spots”. “The significance of certain aspects of the sensory systems of animals can be explained in detail by their relevance in a biological context. Bees use the short wavelengths of sunlight for their orientation in flight. Flowers exploit the visual sensitivities of bees by presenting their pollinators with areas on the petals that reflect short wavelengths, as attractive signals.”

Hyphen Hub is a New York-based nonprofit that explores, promotes, and presents radical new visions of the future through the integration of art and technology. We showcase cutting-edge work in a variety of formats including multimedia festivals, salons, and other innovative live events.

Our global community ranges from cyborgs to audio-visual artists to creators of large-scale immersive works, as well as leading curators, producers, entrepreneurs and thinkers. We also collaborate with a variety of organizations and businesses to develop new innovative approaches to their practice.

MoMA PS1 Proposal  
MoMA PS1 Proposal