Catalogue accompanying the installation Foraging Fields which is developed for the exhibition FIELDS – curated by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits (Rixc) and Armin Medosch. The FIELDS exhibition is one of the major exhibitions of Riga– European Cultural Capital 2014. It runs from 15/5/2014 to 4/8/2014 at the Arsenals Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Arts Museum. The landmark exhibition shows approximately 40 artworks by international artists focusing on art/science interactions and ecological issues.
Annemie Maes studies the co-evolution between urban honeybees and ecosystems. Bees are bio-indicators who are very sensitive to the different ecologies surrounding them. In order to research the optimal conditions for survival of the honey bees, Maes has set out several urban test fields – populated with beehives – in the Brussels’ Canal Zone. This area generates diverse activities, from community gardening and urban agriculture to accidental nature. All this develops between industrial buildings, office zones and living areas. Her beehives are augmented with webcams, microphones and sensors to monitor the behaviour of the colonies, whilst the surrounding ecosystem is scanned by analysis of the pollen and nectar that the bees bring back from their foraging flights. The different hives are all nodes in a distributed guerilla beehives network. The test sites are connected by the flight routes and foraging fields of the bees. Together they shape a green corridor through the city. The installation uses live-data to give insights into research, on the edge of art, science and ecology.