Net_Music_Weekly: Resonating Bodies

bees.jpgResonating Bodies-Bumble Domicile :: Conceived by Sarah Peebles, others :: A Co-Presentation between InterAccess and New Adventures in Sound Art :: through July 27, 2008 :: *new* Gallery, 906 Queen West, Toronto, Canada.

Resonating Bodies is a series of mixed media installations and community outreach projects, which focus on the biodiversity of pollinators indigenous to the ecosystems of the Greater Toronto Area. Conceived by Sarah Peebles with Rob King, Rob Cruickshank and Anne Barros, the installations illuminate aspects of local biodiversity, such as bumblebee colonies and their foraging activities, ultraviolet bee vision, and pollinator / plant co-evolution. Some of these projects feature colour-coded DNA barcodes, a new technique for species identification pioneered by Canadian researchers.

Resonating Bodies coincides with the release of Toronto’s first guide to native bees, A Guide to Toronto’s Pollinators, by Laurence Packer, Professor of Biology at York University and published by the David Suzuki Foundation. Free copies of this booklet will also be available throughout July at several locations. The topic of the booklet – some 23 genera of bees found in Toronto – is the focus of our exhibition. Collaborating researchers Laurence Packer, Jessamyn Manson, Peter Hallett and Stephen Buchmann will be giving talks throughout the period of the exhibition.

Bumble Domicile, the first installment of the Resonating Bodies project, uses an on-site bumblebee hive at *new* Gallery (906 Queen street West) and displays video and audio of its internal activity. Headphones that “plug” into the actual hive give the viewer opportunity to hear the bees in real time. Ultraviolet video of flowering plants in the building’s communal garden is projected onto the North wall of the gallery to provide live tracking of the bees pollination.

Continuous audio transformations of pre-recorded bees and shoh (the Japanese mouth-organ, an instrument which has utilized beeswax since ancient times) fill the gallery space. Visitors are invited to place aromatic offerings into a heated copper tray, which resembles the interior of the hive. This copper tray was created through a unique process involving the remnants of a discarded bumblebee hive.

Viewers are also invited to take free bee trading cards, featuring macro photography of bee anatomy, life facts and colour-coded DNA barcodes of some local bumble bee species. These cards are the first in a series of trading cards of pollinators featured in Resonating Bodies at both *new* gallery and at the bee-wasp condo at the Franklin Children’s Garden on Toronto Island.

Speakers Series: Indigenous Pollinators, Habitat and Co-evolution
Researchers and artists speak about pollinator and bee biodiversity, habitat and related topics throughout the month of July at various venues. Co-presented by Seeds of Diversity and InterAccess, Dorkbot and Franklin Children’s Garden.

Thursday July 17, 7:00 p.m: “Barcodes and Bees?”
Featuring Professor Laurence Packer (York University) and Resonating Bodies artists. A Dorkbot event at InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre Studio, 9 Ossington Ave at Queen W. (
Dr. Laurence Packer, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at York University, author of “Bees of Toronto” will discuss pollinator diversity and pollinator-habitat relationships, emphasizing recent research regarding DNA barcode data in understanding the bees of Canada. Artists Sarah Peebles, Rob King, Anne Barros and Robert Cruickshank will be present to discuss their interdisciplinary work, “Resonating Bodies – Bumble Domicile” in this context. Topics include visualization of pollen gathering data, ultraviolet video, the electroforming process, and audio transformations of bee sounds.

Sunday July 20th at 4pm: “Plants affecting pollinators: How plants lure bumblebees into making plant babies”
Featuring Jessamyn Manson (University of Toronto)
Location: Garden at 900 Queen W next to *new* gallery (enter by the blue gate), NW corner of Crawford and Queen W. Rain location at *new* gallery (visitors will be directed to the appropriate room in the building).
Jessamyn Manson, a PhD candidate from the University of Toronto’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will speak about the interaction between plants and their pollinators, focusing on how plant traits like their flower’s colour and scent convinces the bumble bees to act as pollen vectors.

Sarah Peebles will perform solo shoh improvisations at *new* gallery on Saturday, July 26th, 1:20 p.m. as part of MUSIC(in)GALLERIES – an afternoon of Live Creative Music in Twenty Queen Street West Art Galleries (1-5pm). Details at

The featured artists in Resonating Bodies-Bumble Domicile are:
Sarah Peebles: audio material, audio programming; overall concept, facilitation
Rob King: visual programming, data gathering and projection
Anne Barros: electroformed copper offering plate with micro-controlled heating elements (collaboration) and silver bowl;
Rob Cruickshank: technical assistance, live video, ultraviolet video/tech development, technical and artistic consultant

Collaborating researchers: Laurence Packer (York University), Jessamyn Manson (University of Toronto), Peter Hallett (University of Toronto), and Stephen Buchmann (University of Arizona, Tucson).

Anne Barros, RCA, specializes in small functional hollowware and flatware. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Seymour Rabinovitch, and the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre. She has received numerous awards, including the Canada Council’s Paris Studio.

Sarah Peebles is an internationally renowned artist who “has an ear for contrasting density and inventive transformation”(The Wire Magazine). She has performed and exhibited worldwide, and has collaborated with a wide range of musicians and artists, Her music is available on a number of audio and video publications.

Robert Cruickshank is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist. He works in various media includes electronic, kinetic and robotic installations, sound art, electroacoustic music and lo-fi and stereo photography. He has exhibited in Toronto and internationally.

Rob King is currently finishing a MA degree in the Communications and Culture joint graduate program at Ryerson and York Universities. He is a New Media artist based in Toronto, Ontario. His work explores the social dynamics of networked spaces, the potentials of mobile and ubiquitous computing, and system theory.

Dr. Stephen Buchmann will present his lecture “The Forgotten Pollinators” at 7pm after the opening at *new* Gallery. He has authored and co-authored 8 books, along with 150 scientific publications, and is an adjunct professor of entomology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He is the International Coordinator for the tri-national (Canada, USA, Mexico) North American Pollinator Protection Campaign and its Pollinator Partnership.

Laurence Packer is a melittologist – in other words, his research specialty is wild bees. At York University he teaches entomology and biodiversity. He is a member of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and is as active as he can be in promoting an understanding of the importance of bees.

Resonating Bodies is generously supported through the Drylands Institute, the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation and InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre and New Adventures in Sound Art and is co-produced by Sarah Peebles and InterAccess.

Trading Cards, colour-coded DNA barcodes and more! and
Pollinator Partnership provides information on pollinator – habitat conservation, pollinator gardens, co-evolution and more.

Related: Honeybee Ballet Planting.

Jul 16, 2008
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One Response

  1. sarah peebles:

    hi there. regarding the following page at your site ‘resonating bodies – bumble domicile’, the link to our project is no longer valid. your page:

    the current link to this media work:

    thanks! sarah

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