Becoming Ant performance
BECOMING ANT is based on a research I conducted together with students of DogTime ID-UM into the social behaviour of people in groups, and into the influence of various actants on that behavior. Actants is a term used to stress similarities between humans and non-humans in terms of agency – in terms of the way they influence their context. Actants are both humans and non-humans (among which ‘things’) that are similar in the way that they can influence other humans and non-humans.
Our theory is derived from Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network-Theory.
After a while we decided to narrow down our research and to focus on the element of communication both within the group and in the way the the group communicates its projects to the outside world.
Mutual learning is one of the key processes in the Lab.
An important insight in this context is that we first need to develop our own communications skills before we can transfer our skills or knowledge to others. The ability to communicate facilitates the ability to learn – also about communication. The goal of our Lab is to develop a collaboration at places in the world where there is a desire for sharing personal experiences and viewpoints on matters related to teaching and learning. Eminently clear in this phase of the research became that indeed every person has his/her own perception and point of view toward actants like words, images and other people and that even if they operate in the same process.
Striking were also various sub- or semi-conscious self-interests : the urge for recognition, the urge to be both part as well as to be different from the group, the desire to create, and to not be able to give up a personal mission to serve the group interest. All these desires were of great influence on the development of the group and its goals, that therefor kept shifting.
This raised the question:
What about ANTs ? How do they function as they do ?
This question led us to Seirian Sumner. A scientist who has been researching the behavior of ants for years already. This resulted in the development of the experiment ‘Becoming an Ant’
Performance in TrouwAmsterdam. Foto’s Daphne Koopman.
Exposition “The theatre of proofs”
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