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Live Ants Create "Sculpture" Tunnels in New Plexiglass Art

In this “live” new piece of art by artist Brad Troemel, worker ants take center stage as they're seen creating tunnels through multi-colored gel. The gel provides the ants with all of the necessary nutrients, so it's up to the ants to complete their daily tasks. This includes biting into the gel, chewing it and packing smaller bits into larger spheres, carrying gel chunks to the surface and storing their refuse into designated piles. Most of the gel is excavated and organized.

The artwork consists of nine clear plexiglass cartridges that hang from the ceiling. Since these are all clear, viewers can watch the ants scurry around as they perform their daily tasks. They can even see these ants build the “sculpture” tunnels themselves.

Part science, part art, it's a mesmerizing piece of work that gives you an inside look at ant farms.

The artist himself learned a few things. “Some people say ants build tunnels aimlessly, but those people haven't watched ants for as long as I have. Ants tend to tunnel from the furthest ends of their homes downwards, eventually connecting all eight corners. I found the ants stopped digging as productively when placed in larger, 30″ x 22″ homes.” Read more about his experiment, here.

You can see this work in person at Tomorrow Gallery from now through November 9. You can always watch a short Vine video clip by the Two Percent, here.

Tomorrow Gallery website

via [The Two Percent]

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