Fire ants created this art

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/10/24/fire-ants-created-this-art.html

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Surely the headline should be “Fire ants created this fine art.”

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The smell of some bic pens is close enough to ant trail pheromones that if you draw lines with them then ants will follow the line. One could put paint covered ants like this onto a line drawing to make hybrid ant/human paintings

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" Horace Zeng creates paintings using fire ants dropped onto ink and the result is quite lovely."

The fire ants might beg to differ.

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Ah, but they thought of that. (see disclaimer)

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so if a painting is made by fire ants, who owns the copyright?

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It’s ok, they’re foreign ants. He’s hurting the ants he needs to be hurting.

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Thanks ants. Thants!


Source: Youtube clip from Look Around You, season 1, c2002 , posted by user Ehaterlol on 2009 05 01
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Thank-you! I was wondering how to paint our large canvas. We live in Texas and so we are going to attempt to make our own fire ant painting!

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I can’t really feel comfortable with art that has a death toll, invasive ant species or no.

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What if the ants were infesting your yard or house? Would it be okay to collect them for art, or would you forego that? What if you were planning to exterminate them anyhow? We have trouble here with imported little fire ants, and if someone could make art out of them, I’d be okay with that.

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Fire ants have been absolutely insane in NC this year. It’s even getting hard to find our preferred non-toxic poison locally. A few days ago I counted 58 fire ant mounds. Today I added a few new flags to the lowest pasture, so with the one by the upper gate, we’re near 70 mounds on less than five acres.

I’ve been contemplating mapping them to better see the pattern of their movements, and I had briefly wondered if that’s what this was. But, alas…

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Bummer - I thought it was going to be ant colony casting…

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An art gallery for ants?

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I don’t think it’s that far a stretch to think someone like me would prefer my art not to include the death of anything. Who cares where they were procured.

I can dislike an invasive species, and the trouble it causes without feeling comfortable with art that kills living things in the process. I don’t have to like those living creatures to feel that way.

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A few years ago I would have agreed with you. Now that I’m out here doing the farm thing, having to be both predator and defender, I agree with you so much more.

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I’ve always wondered, do the boneless chicken breasts roost on those styrofoam trays, or do you actually have to run around and catch them?

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I’ve admired the sculpture made by pouring molten aluminum into ant colonies, so it’s hard to fault this guy for what he does… But the whole topic makes me squirm.

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That’s a different breed. Ours are all wings and thighs.

Except for the Guinea Fowl, but I’m not even sure they’re real.

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You might need to add some extender to the acrylics for a large canvas otherwise it will dry before it is covered. Or maybe you could use it to create several overlaying images.

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