Resonating Bodies’ projects illuminate aspects of biodiversity through focusing on pollination ecology, with special attention paid to the intersection of native bees, habitat and coevolution of plants and pollinators of the Greater Toronto Area, Canada and beyond. Art installations and other activities reveal aspects of local biodiversity through investigating solitary bee and solitary wasp nesting and life cycles, bumblebee colonies and their foraging activities, ultraviolet bee vision, pollinator/plant co-evolution, and colour-coded DNA barcodes (a novel new technique for species identification pioneered by Canadian researchers).
Resonating Bodies does not focus on honey bees or other bees non-native to North America. We recommend you first check out the Bee Biodiversity page to get familiar with our native bees, who for the most part don’t live in groups or make honey or wax, and don’t usually sting (much). Contents – listed at right – include the 4 basic sections Bee Biodiversity, The Art (including Bee Trading Cards), Community (including comments and discussion), and Resources. Handy tabs for the basic sections are at the top of the blog.
Scroll down this page to view featured activities. Credits are at the bottom. Late-breaking news and more is also posted on Resonating Bodies | Facebook.
Bee Trading Cards are now available!
They were created as part of the Bumble Domicile exhibit.
Audio Bee Booths are amplified habitat installations for solitary bees.
If you have a slower connection, watch this video here.
Audio Bee Booth prototype in action (best viewed with headphones):
Video poems by Stephen Humphrey and Sarah Peebles
Wild, solitary-dwelling bees of Toronto create nests, manipulate pollen and hang out in the “Audio Bee Booth” and other amplified habitat structures. Macro video with micro audio! More info
Solitary Dream Homes (for bees)
A grass roots initiative for Toronto and beyond
Create your own, safe “bee house”, sculpture or other structure for wild, solitary-nesting bees and post it to our web gallery on Flickr! More info
“Window Mini-Gallery” (2009) is a work-in-progress.
“Bumble Domicile” exhibit (2008) highlighted distinct features of bumble bees through an observation hive, garden, visual and audio transformations, scent, touch, and biological information. This art installation – community outreach project featured works by Sarah Peebles, Rob King, Anne Barros and Robert Cruickshank, and was created in collaboration with bee biologists and other researchers in Canada and the USA. The video “Apiograph” below describes one of the works in the exhibit: “Apiograph” – an installation visualizing the pollinating activities of the gallery’s observation bumble bee colony . The images generated in “Apiograph” were projected on the gallery wall alongside other elements of the show.
Artists, technicians and designers 2008 – 2014 have included Sarah Peebles (project lead), Robert Cruickshank, John Kuisma, Mary-Anne Alberga, Chris Bennett, John Kuisma, Julie Kee, Kevin Steele, Stephen Humphrey, Rob King, Anne Barros, Anneli West, Mike Cameron, Kat Cruickshank, Evan Oxland and Akira Inman, Leigh Bamford, Patrick Ellard, Veronica Ladico and Amro Zayed.
Resonating Bodies projects have developed in consulation and/or collaboration with biologists Laurence Packer and Packer lab researchers Scott Thomson, Cory Sheffield, Lincoln Best and Claudia Ratti (York University); James Thomson and Thomson lab researchers Jessamyn Manson and Michael Otterstatter (University of Toronto); Peter Hallett (University of Toronto and ROM); Peter Kevan (University of Guelph; CANPOLIN); and Stephen Buchmann (University of AZ -Tucson, Drylands Institute).
Resonating Bodies projects have been generously supported by CANPOLIN, TD Friends of the Environment, Balls Falls Centre for Conservation, The Canada Council for the Arts & the Ontario Arts Council through the Tree Museum and Cambrige Sculpture Garden, Drylands Institute, InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, New Adventures in Sound Art, Franklin Children’s Garden and Dufferin Grove Park through the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation.
Additional assistance provided by Pollinator Partnership, P2 Canada, The Barcode of Life Data Systems, The Toronto Zoo, The Stop, Spadina Musuem, Patrick Ellard at Maggie’s Farm, York Quay Gallery through Too Cool for School Art and Science Fair, The Pollinator Garden Project, ASCAP Grants to Composers, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, Waterfront Montessori Children’s Centre, Native Buzz (University of Florida), Rob Cruickshank, Stephen Humphrey, Pollination Canada, and The Deanery.