Currently viewing a development environment

Naked mole rats and ant colonies have more in common than you think

They both demonstrate something called 'swarm intelligence'

Produced in partnership with Science at Pioneer Works

Massive co-founder Nadja Oertelt sat down with data and behavioral researcher Simon Garnier and biologist and entomologist Corrie Moreau to discuss the peculiar emergence of swarm behavior in the natural world. Is this collective, directed behavior a form of intelligence?

Animator Brian Smee, who animated and directed the video of Corrie and Simon’s research, described the process of translating their research. 

The relatively abstract material spoken in the piece enabled me as a  filmmaker to look for different ways to draw ‘swarm communication’. I take the metro in my city a lot and that became an immediate point of inspiration when thinking about swarms in spaces...I wanted the animation to move along as if you were working your way through a map or trail.

Smee created the animation in flash, then color separated, printed and scanned the work so that the final image was close to the size of a postage stamp or baseball card.