Taking a cue from the childhood novelty toy of ant farms, artist Brad Troemel has created a series of artworks that collaborate with live ants. In a series called LIVE/WORK, Troemel has created candy colored “farms” for his ant artists to munch through. Made from nutrient-packed gel, the ants create beautiful crystalline sculptures while they go about their merry day.
Pressed between two pieces of glass much like a traditional ant farm, Troemel has installed a myriad of rainbow gels for the ants to call home. As each day progresses, the ants tunnel through the gels, making clear veins appear in the color masses. As the ants burrow, the tunnels create lines and forms on the picture plane, “drawing” images as they move through the gel.
Aside from creating lines, the ants also make imagery by carrying bits of gel to the surface, or making piles of gel spheres they’ve excavated from below, mixing the layers of colors into a more abstract design. Throughout the process, Troemel discovered that most ants dig in the same way, connecting all of the corners of the pressed glass with tunnels that lead to their homes. He also discovered that the ants tend to work alone, taking turns to do the excavation work in an efficient process.
Beautiful in both color and activity, the artsy ant farms can be seen in person at the Tomorrow Gallery in New York City until 30 November, 2014.
Via My Modern Met