Philosophy practical project
Hormigas (Spanish for ants) is a response to my trip to Malaga, Spain, during October and to some of Jean-Francois Lyotard’s theories on aesthetics and art.
During my time in Spain I was incredibly aware of how different things seemed from home. The difference was not something I could quite put my finger on, or easily put into words. There is a running idea through a lot of Lyotard’s work about how reality is made up of individual events that are impossible to replicate with rational theory. My aim was to put across this feeling of almost understanding and recognising things, and also being not quite able to express the frustration of not fully comprehending these things in a rational way.
I have focused a lot on ants in the film, partly because they are something I strongly relate with Spain because of a trip there when I was much younger when I spent a long time trying to control a colony of ants, and partly because they behave in the same way everywhere on earth; a colony made up of individual ants behaves like one organism so the uniqueness of one ant is unimportant. To me this alluded to Lyotard’s idea of meta-narratives like capitalism. Lyotard thinks the problem with capitalist development is that there is too much focus on efﬁciency which doesn’t allow any individuality. I tried to concentrate more on individual ants to show how they acted by themselves but found that it was very hard to see them as distinct creatures with their own independent agendas.
Responses to the film have been that the sound of the distorted church bells combined with the fast movements, make it scary or unnerving. This relates to Lyotard’s writings on the sublime, as the audience perhaps feel a move from pain to pleasure when watching it.