‘Reading with Ants: Annihilation’, 2019
Video, 13’ 35”
Luke Myers’s work aims to undermine anthropocentrism and its effects on local
ecosystems. Through sustained and earnest seeing, elevating natural forms and
processes, I call attention to the unnoticed, under appreciated, and misunderstood
beings and phenomena in our local environment. By re-establishing an empathetic
relationship to nature, I hope to inspire action towards rebuilding our planet and
decentering our species, repositioning us as members of the ecosphere, not it's masters. The effects of the Anthropocene on insects are visible and pressing, because of their near universal presence on the planet and important role in the ecosystem. In my performance and video work, Reading with Ants (2019), I shared cultural literature with a colony of Florida harvester ants. Though the gesture is obviously futile, it aims to model an equitable relationship without being moralistic. In the gallery, this translates into narrated video that defies narrative: my voice and the readings are directional, but the motivation of the ants is impossible to track.
About the work:
In April 2019 I read the entirety of Jeff Vandermeer's book "Annihilation" to a colony of Florida harvester ants. Along the way I discovered truths about ecology, anthropomorphism, and anthropocentrism. This video documents that gesture, juxtaposing highlights from the narrated text with sustained observations of the ants themselves. I found significant parallels to the values I wanted to explore in the performative act of storytelling to another species.
Social Media: @lukluk16