Artful Antfarms and Social Media

November 14th, 2009


What do ants, art, fashion and social media have in common? We’ve been asking that very question ever since reading Noah Brier’s fascinating take on the power of colonization and it’s relation to the internet. The idea that “ants don’t really ever exist on their own, all their power comes from their ability to organize themselves in groups,” directly parallels social media’s impact online, particularly in relation to traffic, viral marketing and cross pollination.

The use of ant farms to contextualize larger societal microcosms have been popping up in every media form, from literal depictions in Mad Men to more abstract print parallels, such as this Hermès map of Paris. Toying with the idea of national identity and cross pollination, Japanese artist, Yukinori Yanagi brilliantly displays the world through the eyes of  the ant in his 1990 installation entitled, The World Flag Ant Farm. Using a series of interconnected boxes, each filled with colored sand in the pattern of a national flag, Yanagi releases a colony of ants into the system, allowing them to travel freely. “The border crossings” result in an intermingling of color throughout the system, a stunning visualization of our cross-cultural networks. Bringing this concept to the masses on a more playful scale, Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi merge ant farm living with brocade wallpaper patterns, proving mass mobilization can create tangible and beautiful results.

By: Shayna Kulik

CATEGORIES:  ArtHomegoodsMarketingPrintTechnologyTextilesTrendWeb

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Welcome! I’m Shayna.
I live in New York and curate Pattern Pulp Studios. We're trend forecasters connecting the dots between culture and commerce, helping companies navigate digital and physical opportunities. This blog gives a daily taste of what we're seeing. If you want to learn more about how we can help your brand, or just to say hello, drop us a line - we'd love to hear from you!
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