Hill Climbing With Random Restarts <
installation view, Spor Klübü, Berlin - part of the exhibition series "Changes on the Fly"
Synchronised video projection. 2 hours 40 mins (2017)

Real time re-staging of an induced emigration in the laboratory of a colony of marked Temnothorax (aka house-hunting) ants. The experiment simulates a natural disaster in which an ant nest is destroyed by lifting the roof off and forcing the colony to search out and move into a new home. Such experiments are used to study collective decision-making processes and have been used in programming optimization algorithms.

Each video shows an ant home made of two glass microscope slides sandwiching a layer of clear plexiglass with a long oval shape cut out of it. One video shows the ants moving out of their home, the other shows them moving into a new one.