The Junction, 2021
This scale model for a pavilion was made in collaboration with 40,000 bees. Libertíny invited two bee colonies to build their honeycomb structures around a wooden skeleton he designed, guiding the process with periodic interventions in a method akin to cultivating a bonsai tree.
Bees work together as a swarm. Their tiny brains can perform complex cognitive tasks. Libertíny ex-plains that ‘his’ bees made multiple and complicated architectural calculations, such as measuring the temperature, as well as the stresses and structural loads of their edifice, all this within the constraints of the local climate, the hive size, and the richness of the surrounding flora. The building process took three months.
This work is part of the Made by Bees project Libertíny started in 2006. He wants to enlist the power and intelligence of non-human beings in our ecosystem to make architecture and promote a more economic use of construction materials. Honeybees can help design large-scale architectural structures: ‘Bees are cloud engineers: they can analyse and design lightweight, architectural skins. They marry the accuracy of technology with the organic characteristics of nature to create an architectural experience that is both aesthetic and functional.’ His proposal is to scan the models using Computer Tomography (CT scan), after which they can be fabricated and assembled in segments, with different materials and at an appropriate scale.
The beeswax pavilion not only testifies to the power of nature, but also offers a possible future for architecture, according to the artist: ‘Only in using this back-and-forth process between nature and technology, and informing each other, can humans remain in balance with their surrounding environment. In this perhaps lies an answer to how we might live together.’
Tomáš Libertíny (1979, Slovakia) lives and works in Rotterdam. He is inspired by the psychological and physical relationship between humankind and nature. Though he uses advanced design methods and technology to realise his work, he still wants the hand of the artist to be visible. Libertíny considers his use of industrial precision as merely ‘a means to an end’ in creating conditions for controlled randomness. His awareness of the patterns and repetitions that surround us, and his fascination with imperfections in nature, are at the core of his drawings, paintings, and sculptural work. Between the lines, Libertíny seeks to offer a hint of an answer to probing existential questions.
The Junction, 2021
Natural beeswax ‘made by bees’, wood, acrylic base, 40 x 40 x 20 cm
Part of the Beehive Architecture project
Supported by Stimulerings Fonds