Currently my largest work, Hive is an array of interactive tangibles designed using biomimicry principles. Hive was first formally exhibited in June 2018 and has appeared as an environmental intervention at numerous locations around Southern Alberta.
Hive picks up on three particular honeybee traits: the honeycomb structure, the bee’s vision (ommatidium optics), and bee swarm communication. I worked with these three aspects of honeybee physiology as they are ones which radically distinguish the honeybee from the human. I was drawn to working with the subject of honeybees through my hobby as a beekeeper over the summers, and the increased research being done into biomimicry.
Participants tessellate the clusters onto magnetic surfaces and transform space into a sensorial experience foregrounding the perceptual environment of a honeybee using three basic human senses (touch, sight, and hearing are used for this work). I’ve chosen these three humans senses for Hive’s interactive platform as they correspond to the three honeybee traits I have chosen to explore.
The sense of sight corresponds with the honeybee’s vision, as I explore visually recreating how the honeybee sees for a human audience. An onboard accelerometer is programmed to allow Hive’s glow to change colour based on a clusters number of rotations. Sound is fitted into honeybee swarming as I am recreating the collective volume of thousands of honeybees that one would experience if in close proximity to a swarm.
Touch sensors are fitted onto each cluster, and detect how many other cluster it comes into contact with. The more connected, the louder the sound. Finally, touch is used in the shape and material used for Hive’s hexagonal clusters, designed for participants to manipulate and access the other two sensorial components.