Culture

Army of Ants by Brad Troemel

Colourful gel ant farms suspended by Brad Troemel.

Artist Brad Troemel has taken the original concept of ant farms and turned them into something extraordinary, a piece of living, ever-changing art. Pressed between two sheets of glass is a gel structure containing nutritious, coloured gel that is home to an army of ants for the next week.

Beginning with a solid block of gel packed with all of the nutrients and water the ants need to survive, the exhibition will monitor the progress of the ants as they tunnel through the gel, creating veins stretching throughout.

The ants tunnel, chew the gel into balls, excavate and organise the waste into designated piles creating a sculpture that will look entirely different at the end of exhibition to the beginning.

Each separate ant farm is coloured to represent different charities including Wikipedia and Greenpeace, the ants who return the most gel to the top of the exhibit will unwittingly donate the proceeds of the exhibition to their ‘chosen’ charities.

The artwork is mesmerising, ever changing and provides the public with a glimpse into the world of ants. The ants however, are being rather unproductive and have lost their efficient tendencies, by taking it in turns to tunnel and excavate instead of working together. To encourage the ants to work harder, Troemel drilled tiny holes into previously abandoned tunnels to create a new air flow, refreshing the tunnels and encouraging them to develop their artwork.

A close up of a colourful gel ant farm by Brad Troemel.

Colourful gel ant farms suspended by Brad Troemel.

A close up of a colourful gel ant farm by Brad Troemel.

Images property of Brad Troemel and Tomorrow.

Art


Angharad Jones

Angharad Jones

Writer and expert