SILENCING THE VIRUS
A Talk + Q&A from the Artist Lily Hunter Green Online presentation/exhibition of extracts from ‘Silencing the Virus’ (STARTS PRIZE NOMINATION) Bee Composed: An Entomological Fantasy will provide a creative synthesis of what can be learnt from honeybees in terms of social cognition, collective living and ecological balance via a talk and presentation on a series of immersive interactive play-tests and installations. With a special focus on the Artists STARTS Prize Nomination – SILENCING THE VIRUS. SILENCING THE VIRUS is an immersive Sci Art installation that mixes a virtual virus environment with performance, science, ecology and digital arts. It has two key objectives. One to raise awareness of the decline in global honeybee populations and the impact on human societies. Two to examine the intricate social systems of the honeybee; how the hive works as a collective to repel aggressors, specifically viruses, and what can be learnt from their social immunity mechanisms. One of the major causes of the decline in honeybee populations is disease. This includes the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV): an RNA virus that leaves honeybees paralysed and that can result in the death of entire colonies. Drawing on research by molecular scientist Dr Maori (Cambridge University), SILENCING THE VIRUS mimics the spread of IAPV via an interactive sound installation or collective listening experience: an LED visualisation of a digital honeycomb and music composition both infected with a converted sample of the virus’ genome. As participants orbit and infect the virtual hive, it becomes apparent that only by working as a collective, akin to the honey bees, will they be able to SILENCE THE VIRUS.