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"In the Presence of Bees," 2014-15, single-channel looping video, 5.1 sound, running time: 3:30.

 


"In the Presence of Bees" projected outdoors in Dallas, Aug. 1, 2015.
Outdoor installation view of "In the Presence of Bees," at Liliana Bloch Gallery, 20115, Dallas, Texas.

Video still from "In the Presence of Bees," 2014-15.
Video still from "In the Presence of Bees," 2014-15, HD video with surround sound.

Installation photo of "In the Presence of Bees," Alliance Gallery, 2014.
Installation view, Allison Hunter, "In the Presence of Bees," 2014, "Hunter/Plum" exhibition, Alliance Gallery, Houston.

In the Presence of Bees Artist Statement

My work as an artist has consistently focused on highlighting elements of our society we often overlook. A few years ago, I became interested in honeybees when their survival was threatened by a mysterious outbreak known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Following this news story, I researched the many uses of bees in our lives, not just agricultural but also scientific. Bees work for us as pollinators of food crops. But they also inspire our design of military drones and our research of swarm theory. Yet, we could knowingly contribute to their extinction. I hope my artwork will help us turn our attention away from our noise (phones, radios, speech) and instead listen and look more closely at honeybees. In creating this work, I videotaped and recorded the sounds of honeybees at an urban hive in Houston. The video depicts a tight-shot of bees crawling in and out of a hive. Their movements are slowed down and the background is blacked out so the viewer can better see the delicate movements and interaction between these important creatures. The soundtrack consists of bees buzzing and intercut with creaking wood and radio blasts. I designed the audio mix to pan around the viewer and imitate the flight of bees.