Polish artist Elvin Flamingo’s Symbiosity of Creation brings together different ant cultures in glass incubators, test tubes and pipes. Created in 2012, he wanted to “…create a ‘film,’ about which no viewer, upon exiting the ‘cinema,’ could say, ‘That was a great film but life goes on. It was just a film.’” Arguably, the challenge Elvin set himself has been fulfilled by this project, which he estimates will last for around 20 years.
The piece should challenge a viewer’s conceptions of humans as “the single, most important beings.” Like many insects, ants make sounds by rubbing two or more parts of their body together. Sensitive contact microphones give the project a surreal aspect, amplifying these sounds. The project allows visitors to experience the emotional spectrum of the ants: you’ll be able to hear their sounds of joy (for example, when they’re fed rose petals) as well as their noises of anxiety.