Getting bees to construct geographic maps

June 4, 2015

Topic

Data Art  /  ,

In an exploration of the connection between humans an nature, artist Ren Ri uses beeswax as his medium and the bee colony as the builder. Yeah.

Because a colony will follow the queen bee and build a hive based on the pheromones that she releases, Ri is able to move the queen such that the others in the colony act accordingly.

The three-part series is called Yuansu, which translates to “a comprehension of the gestalt of life”. One part is a collection of abstract sculptures, and another is a performance with the bees themselves. But the first part, which Ri and the bees created back in 2008, is a series of geographic maps.

Here’s the United States:

United States bees

The Korea peninsula:

Korean peninsula

Australia:

Australian bee

See the beeswax maps for other countries and the other parts of Yuansu in the exhibition catalog. [via Map of the Week]