Saturday, July 14, 2007

Collaborating With Bees

In a past post, I mentioned encaustic painting, an ancient art form in which pigments are mixed with beeswax, melted, and then painted on a board with a brush like you would do with watercolors, or acrylics. (See photo to the left as an example.) Sociologist Howard Becker would probably see this art, as not simply the work of an isolated artist, but the collaboration between artist, beekeeper, bees and all those other individuals indirectly involved in producing the tools and materials needed for this medium.

The people at the Hive-Mind blog have taken bee collaboration one step further, however. The bees not only produce some of the materials used but they also are involved in the creative process. The beekeeper there places beeswax-coated objects in their bee's hives and allow the bees to draw comb around the objects, building their own additions to the sculptured objects. This is truly artistic collaboration with the bees.

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