by Nicholas Mangan
This publication assembles three phases of Termite Economies, a major series of artworks produced between 2018 – 2020 by the Australian artist Nicholas Mangan.
In Termite Economies (Phase 1) Mangan researched an anecdote that termite abilities might one day lead humans to gold deposits. Phase 2 explored termite eusociality, pheromonal communication, building behavior, biomimicry, superorganism and swarm intelligence. Phase 3 deployed termite collectivism as a speculative model for rerouting human neural pathways. Within each phase, Mangan developed specific methods to explore these phenomena formally, spatially, and through moving images.
Termite Economies grappled with the potentiality of collective social behavior and complexities of systematic exploitation of non-human intelligence.
The book presents each phase in the order of the exhibition series. It includes process and research photographs, diagrams, installation and detailed imagery. It includes an essay by Artist Mariana Silva, a fictional text by writer ST.Lore, a conversation between Mangan and cultural theorist Ana Teixeira Pinto, and a republished essay by Dr. Guy Theraulaz Research Director Member of Team CAB: Collective Animal Behavior Center for Research on Animal Cognition, CNRS.