Recreating Climate and Drone Bees

John Roloff demonstrated an increasingly popular approach to environmental woes when he constructed Seventh Climate (Paradise Reconsidered) in 2006. The project was located under design for I-5 Open Space freeway site in Seattle, WA. Three freeways passed overhead. The artwork occupied 7.5 acres.  This zone has been blocked from all the elements that comprise the patterns of weather and diurnal rhythms since the 1960s when the freeway was constructed.   Roloff recreated these conditions by reintroducing the specific amounts of rain, light, shadow and topographic properties existing at that time. Roloff is repeating a long art tradition by ‘re-creating’ what actually existed in the physical world. This representational work of art simulates the external Seattle climate. Everything is artificial: rain, sun and even moonlight.


    Roloff - Seventh Climate Paradise Reconsidered




I was reminded of this project when I recently read a headline that said, “Tiny Flying Robots Are Being Built to Pollinate Crops Instead of Real BeesThe devices are intended to replace honeybees that are dying at unprecedented rates, greatly jeopardizing the production of food that relies upon their pollination, besides general disruption to the webs of life. Although the White House established a  task force to devise a strategy to protect bees, it seems more faith is being devoted to a technological fix.  

Harvard University researchers have introduced the first RoboBees. Led by engineering professor Robert Wood, not an artist like John Roloff, the bee-size robots can lift off the ground and hover midair when tethered to a power supply. The details were published in the journal Science.

While the project is being tauted as a breakthrough in the field of micro-aerial vehicles, the vast sums of money and attention are devoted to inventing and fabricating drone bees is being diverted from an alternative approach. Instead of relying upon technology, we could be supporting the bees!!