Ants see no red light. A dark subterranea is visible only through a network of chemical communications, which humans cannot sense. The colony exists, persists, only by the dissolution of the invisible “one”—the individual.
Ants “see” through a network of advanced chemical communications which humans cannot naturally perceive. Inside each ceramic apartment, the light is filtered through the red plexiglass windows. These windows only allow the longer, red wavelengths of light to enter, and thus the ants believe they are in total blackness.
Lasius interjectus, or “larger yellow ant”, has been adopted for this exhibition. Commonly known as Citronella Ants, a lemony scent is given off when threatened or crushed. The ants are native to much of the northeast and northwest United States. They live in the dark, wet subterranea, feeding on the honeydew of shrub roots. This species is non-foraging, and does not visit the light-washed outworld to seek food or water. The ants are being fed with the Bhatkar diet (consisting of honey, egg, agar, and a pulverized multivitamin). A short, perforated, polyurethane tube is submerged in the soil to simulate normal feeding habits.
The dirt of the transfer formicarium is from the same site as the ant colony. It was sterilized (frozen and subsequently baked) to remove pests and bacteria that might form mold. The apartments were slipcast in plaster molds carved out on a CNC mill. Each window is attached with white silicon caulk.
The video accompanying the pyramid, and its shared villas, is a collage of observations of ant and humans. It is an archive of pre-existing videos that describes both ant’s and man’s ability to organize infrastructures and architectures, and the presence of the individual within each respective social organization.