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Accepted abstract - Creative Tastebuds Symposium

“Catch Me If You Can” A chance to meet a special and very tasty ant species; Lasius Fuliginosus.

By Christine Fentz, Secret Hotel (performance company)

Secret Hotel – a performing arts company specializing in relational art – are these days testing and presenting our new piece “Walking Lecture on Ants”: A mix of a walking performance and lecture, created in an interdisciplinary collaboration between performing artists Christine Fentz (AD, Secret Hotel) and Betina Birkjær, ant researcher Hans Joachim Offenberg, and anthropologist & brain researcher Andreas Roepstorff, and sound artist and chemist Maiken Vibe Bauer.

The Walking Lecture on Ants is the first in a series – the following planned to be about bumble bees, and trees & mycelium. The 30 guests of the walking lecture are served sensory experiences of various kinds, hard core facts, poetic reflective texts, walking, playing, listening and at the end smelling and tasting – of course also insects, incl. ants. The lead characters are Lasius Fuliginosus, the Jet Black Ant – but in Danish called the Orange Ant, because of its special taste and smell. This ant species was made famous by Danish Michelin restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, serving these ants alive in crème fraiche.

For me and Betina as performing artists it has been a very rewarding experience to get to know the world of ants in general, and particularly these ants. They have been active partakers in the creation of the art piece, and as such, ants are good to think with. Think about the different ways which different species impact their environment, and how collaboration are created in various types of societal structures.

At the Creative Tastebuds I will present these ants to the participants who visit my stand, letting them meet the ants through a few short exercises, sharing some of the perspectives the ants have given me, and ending the visit with a special offer to each guest.