Imagine entering an ant’s nest; controlling workers, protecting queens and foraging for food. The New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) in Armidale invites you into the world of ants during its six week exhibition Little things that run the world.
This fantastic project where art meets science and ants features a giant nest that will dominate the art museum’s foyer. Visitors can add life stages to its tunnels and chambers in order to grow an ant colony while watching and directing remotely controlled ants performing tasks in their cooperative society.
Citizens can play ‘antman’, a digital game where ant behavior is learnt or the colony dies! The six-week community science event delivered by the North Western Science Hub will culminate in an AntBlitz at Black Gully where, over a 24-hour period, ants will be hunted, collected, sorted, identified, pinned and curated.
Anyone can sign up to join the blitz and learn about their local ants by using microscopes and traps, pinning ants and helping with research through the School of Ants at the University of New England.
Admit it, you have a great ant story just waiting to be told, don’t you? Ants are everywhere, and anyone in Australia will have had their own unique experience with ants. But how much do we really know about these charismatic invertebrates? And how much can they tell us about our environment, and ourselves?
Little things that run the world explores aspects of ant society like altruism and traffic flow while opening up the tiny world of ants for all to see, and acknowledge, every day.
Seeing ants up close and personal allows different perspectives and always brings out the inner curious child in us. Anyone and everyone in the New England region is welcome to participate in the project’s ant nest installation and colony growing experiment at NERAM.
Imagine life as an ant at these events
Explore the giant sculptural ants’ nest in the foyer of NERAM and imagine entering an ant’s nest, controlling workers, protecting
queens and foraging for food.
Make your own ants, larvae or other life stages and put them in tunnels and chambers to grow the colony. Create a giant ant in the courtyard at NERAM for ArtPlay Day on 19 October, or take an ‘Ant Walk’ along Black Gully and explore the newly created Ant Hotels!
Participate in the AntBlitz
Be a part of the AntBlitz at Black Gully on 21 September. Over a 24-hour period ants will be hunted, counted and identified.
Anyone can sign up to join the blitz and learn about their local ants; use microscopes and Winkler bags, and help with
research through the School of Ants at the University of New England. Book by email
Little things that run the world opens at the New England Regional Art Museum in Armidale at 2pm Saturday 16 August and is on show until 19 October 2014. School groups welcome! For school bookings contact NERAM on 02 6772 5255. For more information about the project email Kirsti Abbott
Dr Kirsti Abbott runs the citizen science project School of Ants, and is a lecturer in zoology at the University of New England. She is an entomologist by training and a science communicator and educator by passion.