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Conversātiō

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Conversātiō — in the company of bees ­

ANNE NOBLE WITH ZARA STANHOPE AND ANNA BROWN

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Contents

12 Introduction Zara Stanhope

67 NO VERTICAL SONG__ The Dead Bee Portraits

16 B RUISSEMENT__ Bee Wing Photograms

49 In conversation — Anne Noble + Zara Stanhope

83 Life teeming, buzzing Gwynneth Porter

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82 EIDOLON

101 Small brains, smart minds and biologically inspired flying machines Mandyam V. Srinivasan

119 CONVERSATIO — A Cabinet of Wonder

161 In conversation Jack Stone + Anna Brown

239 Art, education and bees — Learning with living systems Mark Amery 225 SONG STING SWARM II__ Sound, Video, Performance

177 Reading the bees Anne Noble and Victoria Coldham-Fussell

232 A BEE WING MORPHOLOGY__ Bee Wing Tintypes 252 SONG STING SWARM__

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Introduction Zara Stanhope

Relationships are fundamental for Anne Noble as an artist, as inextricable to her art practice as they are in her teaching and personal life. Known primarily for her photography, these connections are not necessarily the purpose of, nor evident in, her photo work or other media but are, nevertheless, formative in her thinking and often in the creation of her art. In a not dissimilar way, her work attends to fundamental feelings and phenomena in which we are all immersed and surrounded by, yet to which we seldom pay heed. An ancient life form that suddenly became an indicator species in regard to changes in the environment, bees have been an essential spirit and focus in Anne’s practice since 2012. Her works over the last decade reveal her endless curiosity about bee consciousness, their community, and the ways in which we might begin to fill in our understanding of this life form. A range of works — photographs, video, performance and ‘living photographs’ containing hives — have resulted from her relationships with her own hives and other beekeepers, and from her engagement with educators, musicians, performers, scientists and writers. This book is a window onto the poetic, philosophical and creative attention that Anne has brought to the bee in her numerous series of images and projects. Her emotional intelligence and her ability to activate a space of questioning and reflection in between art and science is evident in the reproductions of works and the accompanying interviews and texts.

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It seemed appropriate that the book take its title from Anne’s most ambitious project about the bee, Conversatio: A cabinet of wonder, as being key to the creation of a space of exchange and transformation with her audience. A Latin term for the practice of attentive listening, ‘conversatio’ conveys the artist’s desire to place her audience in the company of bees so that they may more deeply experience and understand their non-human coinhabitants of the planet. The book was also a way to honour the many collaborators who have been part of these works. Creative designer Anna Brown and I aimed to form a publication that reflected our experiences of Conversatio and Anne’s thinking in the related bodies of work; especially Anne’s generous habit of sharing what she continues to learn about bees, exciting listeners and inviting people into the production of works and encouraging others to share related reflections from their own perspectives. Her own interest also extends to historical writings on the bee, included as excerpts in the ‘Reading the bees’ section, in addition to selected images of works and commissioned texts. Following Anne’s own inclination to create connections and exchanges, the book is designed for the reader to enjoy their own journey, a nonlinear line of flight through a network of images and ideas linked across time and place in the presence of bees.

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BRUISSEMENT__ BEE WING PHOTOGRAMS

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