HD Crosspollination (2016)
A performance work by Allen Peterson that compares our human work processes to those of honeybees. Sculptors produce molten iron in a furnace that is a model of Industrial Revolution technology. The iron is poured into molds and formed into iron bee sculptures that are the size of songbirds. These bees are released from the molds while still glowing bright, affixed to cold handles, and «flown» through the night by puppeteers in safety gear. The bees «pollinate» floral torches with their body heat. Then they move together in patterns that are inspired by the dance-like language that real honeybees use inside the hive to tell other bees how to find resources like nectar and pollen. The dance of the bees alongside the industrial process that produced them brings to mind the similarities between human workers and the industrious bees, but also the plight of the honeybees in recent years as human ingenuity has outsmarted itself, putting the health of honeybees in real danger, which threatens our own food supply.Presented at the Grand Opening of Sculpture Fields at Montague Park, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Friday, April 8, 2016.Video by Louis Lee.