The contemporary human understanding of reality is derived from clearly defined categories: Human vs. nature, female vs. male, good vs. evil, national vs. foreign, local vs. global. Ultimately this leans towards the essentialist binary of digital computation: 1 vs. 0. Ants perceive differently, they make sense of the world by communicating through pheromone gradients. Avoiding categorisation, this method of sensemaking is comparable to an analog computer, operating analogously to the fluctuating gradients of reality instead of digitally separating one colour from another. ‘Analog Anthology’ explores the hopes and risks of analog/gradient-based computation and sensemaking through an interactive phygital archive.
Case Study: Weaving Worlds 'Weaving Worlds’ (below) explores the construction behaviours of the weaver ant Oecophylla as a medium to communicate the complex problem of digital colonialism. It provided the first case study for the virtual archive of ‘Analog Anthology’. The project is among others inspired by the works of Benjamin Bratton, with an emphasis on the idea that only with an identity (a category) represented through a name or (IP-)address, an individual can be ‘addressed’ to take part in the global discourse. It reflects on the unnamed, deprived, abandoned, liminal spaces of the IP-address space, a map of the internet which highlights the unequal distribution of global information resources. More broadly speaking the project subverts conventional forms of spatial/resource organisation based on categorisation, suggesting alternative collage-based approaches like situationist psychogeographical maps and organic systems like weaver ant societies.
A project by Jasper Zehetgruber in collaboration with: Joachim Offenberg, myrmecologist and weaver ant specialist at Aarhus University Tutors: Nancy Diniz, Course Leader Alice Taylor, Lecturer in Biology and Living Systems Victoria Geaney, Associate Lecturer Design Studios Oscar Villareal, Associate Lecturer Interdisciplinary Studios Timotej Baca, Associate Lecturer, Visual Narratives Alejandro Luna, Associate Lecturer Sustainability Innovation Thomas Bugg, Graduate Teaching Assistant Paula Camina Eiras, Graduate Teaching Assistant