Leafcutter Ant Drawing

Montag, Daro (2009) Leafcutter Ant Drawing. In: Expeditions. CCW Graduate School, London. ISBN 978-1-908339-03-4

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Abstract / Summary

This project questions the inherent creativity and adaptability of living organisms in previously unencountered situations. The project documents the adaptiveness of a species of leafcutter ants (Atta cephalotes) when the ants’ normal activity is interrupted by a line of carbon. Produced in the rainforest, where climate change is already recorded, the questioning has implications for all species, including our own., The drawings were made during a Cape Farewell funded expedition to the Peruvian Amazon. Using local materials – carbon from a burning candle, brushes made from plant stems, plant kitchen oil and discarded paper – a number of simple line-drawings were made. These drawings were then placed on ants’ foraging trails to block their pheromone trail with wet oil. Observations about the ants’ behaviour were recorded as they worked on and completed the drawing: after making various aborted attempts to find a way across the paper the ants eventually forge a new path; in doing they tread the oily carbon into the white paper. The resulting patterns are the reification of insectoid innovation. Paper and video depict their many attempts to solve this problem and is, ultimately, a record of their successful route across the paper.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: In addition to the drawings and video of the action, an authored chapter about the project was included in Expedition, ed. Chris Wainwright, (CCW Graduate School: 2012) ISBN 978-1-908339-03-4, This project was selected for the UNFOLD touring expedition which travelled to the following venues between May 2010 –April 2012, and were featured in the UNFOLD publication:, University of Applied Arts, Vienna; Kings Place Gallery London; University Gallery, Northumbria; Newlyn Gallery, Cornwall; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago; Parsons the New School for Design, New York; Liverpool John Moores University.
ISBN: 978-1-908339-03-4
Courses by Department: The Falmouth School of Art > Fine Art
Depositing User: Daro Montag
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2013 14:20
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2023 13:14
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/226


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