Modelled after 20th century utopian architectural styles, New Xanadu (2008-2012) is an eccentric but functional environment for a colony of honeybees, complete with solar-powered observation shutters and climate control. As a social insect, the European Honeybee has long been associated with collectivity, divinity, and utopia. However, these projected ideals rest uneasily alongside bees' critical role in modern industrial agriculture, and their future against a growing host of pesticides, parasites, and diseases. A flawed utopia, New Xanadu explores our conflicted relationship with this insect; it envisions an ideal future in the anachronistic and anthropocentric terms of an artificial and already compromised past.
Installation photos at the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research, Vancouver, BC.