name: Variation Games, year start: 2017, year end: 2018, techniques: video account of 1 year intensive bee monitoring – 21’50”; author/director: AnneMarie Maes; editing: Margarita Maximova; Sound supervision: Joeri Bultheel

VARIATION GAMES are games where the set of rules is constantly adapted by the players.
The bees act as transmitters in an interconnected web of bio-intelligent agents. They construct a bioremedial beehive and create a symbiotic environment for exchange with specific bacteria.
They are sentient, perceptive; they see, feel, navigate and communicate. They fabricate and dance, they collect and build, they perform and reproduce. The result of this collaboration is a biotechnological device: the Intelligent (Guerilla) Beehive.

The video is a condensed edit of a year-long audiovisual observation of the behaviour of a honeybee colony in the private environment of their refuge. The recordings are made with an infrared camera and contact microphones inside the beehive. The content of this video focuses on the first 6 weeks of the observation, when the bees start the building of their nest. The images show how they first scan the empty space and detect all foreign objects (in this case paper pasted on the back of the hive), which they propolize and eventually tear down, thus appropriating their territory. They start organizing their activities to design the locus as their home. The images demonstrate and reveal decision-making, networking, collaboration and collective intelligence. The soundtrack is based upon recordings made in the beehive.
This video throws the viewer out of his comfort-bee-zone, and shows the colony in action from an unusual point of view.

Variation Games, first screening in #BeehaveBCN
exhibition BEEHAVE at Fundació Miró in Barcelona, Feb-July 2018

Variation Games and the Intelligent Guerrilla Beehive at Eco-Visionaries in HeK, Basel (2018)

‘Womens’ Work is never done’ – Variation Games, mailing for ‘Beehave’ exhibition, Miró Foundation in Barcelona (2018)