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'Cellular' by Andrei Pokrovskii at Plague Space, Krasnodar


Among the bee-keepers of Europe and England in particular there is a certain tradition named ‘‘telling the bees’’. The idea behind it is that all important events in the life of a bee-keeper’s family should be retold to the hive. If someone’s getting married, dies or anything else of importance happens- the hive must be informed. More so, the hive may take part in these events- it is invited to weddings, where its entrance faces the newlyweds and a piece of wedding cake left right in front of it, while at the funeral the hive is covered with a piece of black cloth and during the descent of the coffin it is held above the ground, supposed to be put down simultaneously with the coffin. The tradition seems to take its origins from the belief that bees act as messengers and guides between humans and the magical underworld. Neglecting the ritual could lead up to consequences of varying severity: from tasteless honey to bee sickness to death of someone on the apiary from their stings. Thus, bee-keepers regularly converse with their hives, sharing their latest news and secrets. The hive becomes a receiver of sorts, a data storage. Upon entering the hive, information is getting processed and transformed by the bees, the data is codified into various forms: from news and gossips the honey is made, they are spread as pollen on bees’ legs and on the tips of insects stings. In this codified form, the information spreads on enormous distances well beyond the territory of the apiary. Despite the data leaving the field of human language, as if it is still can be processed and digested by a human being- for example, in a shape of a random idea during the consumption of honey, after being stung by a bee or smelling the flower. Cellular in Russian language is translated as ‘‘сотовый(sotoviy)’’, literally- ‘‘of honeycombs’’. Thus, this show draws a somewhat speculative parallel between a cellphone and a hive as alternative instruments of data transmission and explores various ways of deciphering information, which can be codified in most unexpected forms, by chance and certain sensual setting.

16.7.22 — 20.8.22

Photo by Vanya Venmer

Plague Space

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