The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett student choreographs Ant Ballet

23 March 2012

Ant Ballet

A Bartlett PhD student has demonstrated how pheromone trickery can influence the behaviour of ants in a new installation at ZSL London Zoo.

The Ant Ballet, a collaboration by Ollie Palmer and Pestival, artist in residence at the zoo, is the result of two years’ research and design by members of the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL Organic Chemistry and Dr Seirian Sumner, Institute of Zoology. The installation will show computer-simulated ants laying pheromone trails only to be disrupted by a machine laying pheromones, which then confuses the ants.

The first ever live Ant Ballet using real ants will take place in Brazil later in the year. The project was based on research by Dr Seirian Sumner.

Read about the Ant Ballet in the New Scientist