Wisdom of the Earth
Installation. Bee hive [Apis melifera], plant [Dracaena marginata], hydroponic system, mini video camera, TV set, polyurethane, wood, acrylic tubing. Dimensions vary;
Wisdom of the Earth is a process-based installation dependent upon two living systems: a beehive and a plant. For the duration of the show, the bee colony lives in the gallery and collected pollen from the surrounding area. As the beehive grows, it is expected to build honeycomb inside the clear [human] brain shaped form provided. A television set projects close-up views from the interior of the brain.
On a different scale and schedule, we can observe the growth of a plant in a hydroponic system, developing its roots inside a second clear [human] brain shaped form. Growing at an invisible rate to the naked eye, the plant develops a hybrid root system based on its genetic blueprint and the environment provided.
The hive and the plant are self-organized emergent systems, where interactions among the system’s components use only local information, with no reference to a “master plan”. We are observing two complex adaptive systems guided by a kind of “virtual brain”. Their intelligence lays in the high interconnectivity between each individual bee and cell.
The final configuration of the honey comb and of the root is the result of the change each living system went through in response to a complex of external conditions [location, temperature, humidity, nutrients etc]. In a similar process, external conditions superimposed on our genetic framework control the physical development and function of our brain.
Our brains are literally built by, and analogous to, the world around us. We cannot remain outside of life’s network; everything changes and is changed.