FR | EN
A beehive is composed of tens of thousands of individuals. Whether it be a hive or a swarm in full flight, it’s a very recognizable sound. If we have the tendency to think of a beehive as a whole, this new project by Félix Blume proposes to make heard the uniqueness of every one of these individuals who compose it, by way of isolated bee recordings.
The sound installation Essaim picks up the general theme of the exhibition at Jeanne Barret : Métaboles, referring to metabolic delirium as “the delusion of bodily transformation during which the subject believes they have transformed into glass, stone, animal or plant.”
By presenting Essaim within the exhibition space, the installation invites us to partake in several listening experiences, going from the whole (the beehive) to the individual (the bee). The visitor is invited to listen to each of these individuals, and to also become an integral part of the beehive each in their own way, by way of this auditory immersion among the bees. This privileged position aims to make audible the many sound stories of these little beings on their daily life, labor and importance in the preservation of biodiversity.
The installation will consist of hundreds of small individual sound devices, consisting of a sound card and a small speaker, each broadcasting the sound of a particular bee. It’s an ode to these little workers, who often pass by unnoticed.
A note on bees
A beehive, composed of 10 000 to 60 000 individuals, is made up of males, a queen and a large number of worker bees. These last few are the only ones that pollinate and the project will solely focus upon this “social class” of the hive.
We often describe the sound produced by a bee as buzzing or droning. Although they don’t have ears they can still pick up on their vibrations due to two organs : the internal membrane of the forelegs and the antennas.
Bees will always prioritize the interest of the hive before their own. The members of the colony generate a collective intelligence which allow for the “whole” to be greater than the sum of its parts. The beehive thus becomes a source of inspiration to contemplate our own collaborative and participatory models.
Their presence is crucial in France : they pollinate 80% of flowers. Their extinction would be a real disaster for the living. The dangers are unfortunately numerous: GMOs, monoculture, pesticides, large-scale beekeeping or global warming.
In partnership with Dominique Hardouin
Residency of creation from March to June 2021
Félix Blume’s installation will be presented to the public at the opening of Métaboles, from June 22 – 27, 2021.
The artist will also be invited to present his work and artistic approach.
Assistant : Arthur Thomas