#EatBee [sugar & wood], Wendy Leah Dawson, ArtVend at Oriel Wrexham, 2015.
Consume #EatBee... Consider commodity...
Distributed through Oriel Wrexham's ArtVend machines, these edible bees are a swarm intended to be consumed, they are made from sugar and will be eaten, or disintegrate in time. Returning to the act of making and the repetition of carving, casting and fettling multiple individuals using a variety of materials has focused my mind on the individual, as well as the wider colony. This process has led me to working with sugar, a substance that has no real nutritional value, yet a commodity nonetheless, whether artificial or natural honey. We measure the significance of any life-form through it's value... What does it produce? What is it's impact on other more profitable crops? What is it worth? The bee has such a mysterious yet significant role to play that we notice when it is in decline... what are we missing?
ArtVend has allowed me to distribute these bees at low cost to a new 'swarm' of individuals who will have the opportunity to engage with the ideas presented to them via the #EatBee hashtag, I am interested to see people photograph their bees, personify the object somehow and consider the individual, and maybe even share themselves eating it.
This work references the principles of swarm behaviour and emergence theory that have interested me in my recent work, exploring the ideas surrounding collective intelligence, emergence and the idea that somehow collections of programs and lifeforms can compute complex problems that are beyond the decision-making capabilities of the individual. In particular I have focused on colonies of bees, they interest me on many levels, as a species under threat, and also as an insect that holds some mystery that people seem attracted to.