Ant Linkage

2013 — Ant Linkage is a series collaborative works with artist Craig Dongoski and Mechanical Engineer and Biologist David Hu. A professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Professor Hu’s research focuses on the locomotion of animals.  His simple table-top experiments utilize microscopy and high speed film to help elucidate new fundamental physical principles in biology.  For our purposes we all share an interest in the movement of ants, particularly the way they swarm, link and work together to make complex systems, such as bridges, boats and ladders. This collaboration has yielded work in a variety of media, including sculptural objects with light and sound components and a series of series of drawing and paintings.

 

Craig Dongoski has continually explored multimedia technology in his work. His interest in Sound Poetry history has influenced the development of his artistic practice, in which he explores the relationship of the spoken and written word and the connection between the drawn mark and the sound produced while inscribing. For Ant Linkage he has developed a number of new sound compositions that are embedded in the sculptural forms developed by Peragine. His familiar mark making that alludes to sound wave punctuates much of the work in the exhibit.

 

Ant Linkage builds on a previous body of work titled Brute Neighbors, which was originally exhibited at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and later reimagined and installed as a public artwork at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The title of the work comes from a chapter in the book Walden by Henry Thoreau. In the chapter, Thoreau describes the unyielding struggle for survival that plays out amongst the insects and animals outside his cabin. Ants are an apt metaphor for discussing human behavior. They are ubiquitous. They populate every continent and every island in the world. They are fierce competitors who build intricate and highly developed social structures. Their existence relies on successful delegation of responsibility. They are incredibly organized, yet have no single governing body. Their actions seem to be choreographed chaos, much like our own daily urban existence. Despite the scientific underpinnings of the collaboration with David Hu, this new work shares a similar anthropomorphic point of view. The intention of the work is to be both poetic and inquiring.

 

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© Joseph Peragine