Conversation Piece<i>Conversation Piece</I>, a collaboration between Cara Tomlinson and Sean Regan, consists of a video projection with sound in a darkened room with drawings exhibited along the walls of the space. It parallels the development of language with emergent patterns in the natural world.
The original Conversation began as an experiment in communication. During the winter months an ant colony moved into Cara’s studio. She began feeding it in order to observe it more closely. She soon found herself collaborating with the colony by feeding the ants texts and words that they utilized as tools to access their food.
This impulse to use language to create a bridge between species is a symbolic gesture, it highlights the guesswork that lies at the heart of communication: near misses, gaps and parallels inform our understanding of language. The drawings are the result of mapping the ant colony’s movements. The traced activity of the ants becomes a map that is a metaphor of human activity on a larger plane.