The Chosen is from The Leafcutters, a multimedia project that includes video, photography, drawing and sculpture.
I filmed it on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica over two years with two different ant colonies. The first one was killed off by its larger neighbor. I witnessed the war and it was brutal.
Charlie Lindsay, my husband, recorded a vast array of wildlife from this fantastically noisy jungle. The soundtrack includes four species of monkeys, dozens of birds and insects, as well as the subtle sounds of the ants walking, talking and eating. Inside the temple was created from processed sounds of ants, capuchins, antique Himalayan singing bowls, drums and foot steps in an Italian cathedral.
For this video I wanted a parade of leafcutter ants to resemble a ritualistic procession, similar to a Mayan festival where special offerings are brought to honor a god. I collected flowers from the forest and found ones the ants liked. The video follows this colorful parade of ants as they traverse the forest and enter their underground colony. They descend through a labyrinth of tunnels to the heart of the colony and lay their offerings at the feet of their idol - a golden ant. Through the ceremony they bury the idol.