2007. Ben Frost. POLLINATING THE VERNACULUS (theoretical data)


I am using the insular housing of commercial honey Bees to construct 5 contained sonic environments. The physical Beehive contains a speaker that emits one of 5 concurrent parts of a non-linear score (a series of related loops or random length). Each of these parts will consist primarily of a low frequency tone that will vary subtly in volume and texture from within each box… at close range with an ear to any given hives the viewer will experience a singular experience of that tone and texture…

However at a distance the summed harmonic interplay of all 5 hives will create a nonlinear narrative that ebbs and flows at the looping mercy of infinite algorhythms.

…A muted, singular experience- BUT WHAT DOES IT ‘MEAN’
- Conflicting perspectives, both external and internal
- Harmony- Dissonance- Cause and Effect
- Communication of the vernacular as the sum of the secular

What feedback loops are created in these moments of conflicting perspective and in this case audible melodic movement and its various implied secular introspections?

The Beehive is an incredibly powerful image of passive aggression… the singular harmless insect OR The swarming killer mass… A secular sweetness made in swarming rage and guarded secrecy. I am fascinated by the connotations of the
‘Closed box’… I am fascinated by the insinuations that a beehive in a public space makes… about our security? …about the nature of emotion and containment? About our sense of control and personal space- These ideas when addressed musically again play with perception of meaning and conversely actual intentions.

How does preconception about people in their personal ‘hive’, enwrapped in their culture and kind affect the actual experience of them? Are the Bees dangerous or does the collective experience make them so?

Various political and religious divisions dilute the natural empathy of the human condition that is often already strained by geographical separation and language- and this occurs both on a singular and social level. Harmonies and dissonance in sound are relative to a listener just as the reactions to social structures and cultural aspects are relative to the individual and the individual experience.

Distance between the hives- and the transmission of their sound across space presents us with less defined linear structures- and more confusing, perplexing and perhaps scarier perspectives: Ergo: Many boxes raise many questions… So, Namely- Do we fear what we cannot dissect?

This work also references the work ‘Arrival of the Beebox’ by American poet Sylvia Plath whereby she uses the image of the Beehive to explain inner turmoil using external form ‘…The box is locked, it is dangerous…’I am interested in exploring the core idea that this poem suggests… that to open the box (the issue)… is to risk attack by its contents… a universally familiar idea…

And indeed, perhaps it is.