‘Learning from the Bees’ Conference Exhibition
Together with Dutch artist Kyra Cramer, we have been invited to curate an exhibition of artwork for an International conference called Learning from the Bees, which will serve as a springboard for discussions about art as a tool for researching, educating and inviting new ways of thinking. We will also be hosting a discussion panel about socio-ecological art practices and their capacity to generate cultural changes.
Learning from the Bees is a conference that will take place in Holland between the 31st – August – 2nd Sept. 2018, and is focused on shifting the public gaze from contemporary commercial apicultural practices towards a Culture of the Bee, exploring how best to listen to the messages these pollinators are giving us about our relationship with the natural world. Speakers at the conference have come forward from the world of science, bee-centred beekeeping initiatives, charities, NGO’s, honeybee conservation and environmental groups, artists, farmers and educators – representing a diverse and powerful group of notable bee advocates. All share an aspiration to develop strategies to move the bee-centred agenda forward across the world.
The exhibition, called Learning from the Bees, will curate artwork that explores what we can learn from the bees about ourselves, our social structures and our relationship to domestication / dominance over nature. We will be exploring three interlacing themes:
- Criticism of industrial/commercial beekeeping practices. Seeking to understand how domestication of the honeybee echoes domination of nature and how these two reflect human separation from life giving forces.
- Humans who understand the nature of the animal and wish to work with it in a mutually way, are often exposed to the mystery of their being. Close relationship with honeybees can lead to initiation experiences.
- Collaborative and socially engaged art – inspiration from the superorganism. How do we work together?
In addition to showing the above mentioned exhibition at the conference, we are exploring the possibility of taking it to another exhibition space in Amsterdam to show it for an additional two weeks to a wider audience, after the conference. More details about the space and time frame will be made available once we finish the negotiations with the relevant organizations.
‘This conference will be a path breaking meeting, one where progressive bee keepers and bee researchers will share their ideas and discoveries on how human beings can be better stewards of our greatest friends amongst the insects, the honeybees. // Thomas D. Seeley
Cover photo: beetime#4 2017