Art Made for Insects – Pollinator Pathmaker

Art Made for Insects – Pollinator Pathmaker

Over the last few years, the buzz has been getting ever louder about the importance of pollinating insects and the subsequent emergency that could stem from their endangerment. By some estimates, three quarters of the world’s crop supply is reliant on pollinating insect species. 

Habitat loss and climate change (among other factors) have been seen to have devastating effects on the population of insects like bees, moths, and butterflies. As their numbers continue to decline, the risk to crop production increases – in fact, this crisis presents a very real danger of food shortages for humans across the entire globe. Simply put, we need to look after the pollinating species that we’re dependent on or face major consequences. 

It is this struggle that inspired the most recent commission of designer, academic, and artist, Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg. Having built a reputation for her works exploring the delicate balance and conflict of the technological and natural world, she turned her attention towards the eyes of the insects themselves. Pollinator Pathmaker is a 55 meter permanent installation located at eco-haven The Eden Project; a vast array of flora species arranged to be the ideal habitat for all sorts of pollinator insects. 

The project was made to be a paradise for pollinators rather than human guests, an optimally designed utopia curated specifically for the eyes of the insect kingdom. 

Renowned physicist Przemek Witaszczyk was responsible for designing an algorithm to guide the layout so that the conditions are perfect for as long as possible.

Dr Ginsberg stated that, “We want to serve the greatest number of pollinators.” 

‘Pollinator Pathmaker, Digital rendering – commissioned by the Eden Project and funded by Garfield Weston Foundation – Photo by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg

This algorithm was then implemented on Dr Ginsberg’s website – pollinator.art – so that anybody can input the details of their garden and generate an art piece that also serves as a map of how to create the perfect habitat for pollinating species.

Dr Ginsberg said about Pollinator Pathmaker:

 “I wanted to make an artwork for pollinators, not about them. Can the audience of an artwork be more-than-human? And how can art be useful in the ecological crisis?”

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