Living ants creating artwork in neon gel by Brad Troemel

This colourful artwork by Brad Troemel is run by living ants. The material, the ants, the colours, all add up to this mesmerising piece.

So what’s this exhibition all about, anyway? Well, these are infertile female harvester worker ants!
The gel they’re tunneling through is edible and provides them with all necessary nutrients and water.

No ants were harmed in the process.

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When tunneling, these workers complete each task from start to finish: biting into the gel, chewing
and packing smaller bits into larger spheres, carrying gel chunks up to the surface, and storing
refuse in designated piles. Some gel is eaten along the way, but most is excavated and organized
in the process of burrowing downward. Individual ants take turns completing each task alone to
completion. One must wonder – when will ant labor evolve to incorporate collaborative just-in-time
tunnel building strategies, or even Fordist production lines? Are disruptive innovations even possible
species-wide if made within isolated habitats?These are just some of the questions this generation of
ants faces.


More pictures can be found at the website of Brad Troemels art gallery.