Bee Diaspora at Festival DME

‘Bee Diaspora – a swarm in 5 movements’ is a transdisciplinary collaboration between Orrù ﴾architect/artistic researcher﴿ and Morten Søndergaard ﴾poet/sound artist﴿. The activity is a ‘lecture performance’ that integrates Søndergaard’s poems, together with Orrù’s urban research morsels, blending them in with the recorded hive and electro sounds into 5 movements. This contribution includes a reading and music soundpiece, a philosophical and theoretical perspective overlapping sustainable urban behaviour with an artistic composition of swarm‐intelligence. The activity finds modes to inspire and encourage collective forms of action using an artistic approach in which to grasp the environmental problems by using swarm‐behaviour as an organic and metaphorical device.

The ancient term diaspora refers to people that live outside of their homeland. It brings up connotations of spreading out, mobility, sprawling, transition, transformation and temporality. Our conceptual definition looks to temporality – a temporal home and sustainable democratic behaviour around being in movement. We develop the concept further by looking at how honeybees swarm, exploring their collective decision‐making behaviour during a swarming process as our form of organic metaphor for exploring urban ecological behaviour and sound‐composition. These steps have been researched, narrated and interpreted into the festival piece, composed from active bee sounds, and used as feed into a Korg MS‐20 synthesizer. The bee sounds collected over 1.5 years from 3‐4 hives which we look after as beekeepers. They have been modulated and transformed to reflect the swarm’s activity, to develop a composition that mimics this complex instance. Such organic metaphors can be used to think about our movement and transition to sustainable futures that include the use of artistic interventions where art plays a critical role in communicating, inspiring, and gathering these aims.

The 3 days of exchange at the festival/symposium include concerts, workshops, roundtables, discussions and sound installations providing a forum to reveal our project to a wide audience of artists, musicians and experts in the fields of music and sustainable urbanism. This gives a platform for dialogue, advice, input, debate and feedback from varying international experts to our endeavour. This is also an opportunity to push transdisciplinary boundaries, integrating subjects such as architecture, poetry, sustainability, soundscape, acoustic ecology, electroacoustic music, and other subjects which are not commonly organised together.

Festival DME ‐ Days of Electroacoustic Music

The international symposium gathers specialists from fields of art, architecture, urban mobility, ecology, and shares them through soundscapes and acoustic ecologies to create profound dialogues and networks during the festival. The symposium is on 'Culture and Sustainable Cities', an overlap between art and science, allowing for project exchanges that situate themselves between both.

There are 2 vital exchanges in this project; First, the collaboration between Orrù and Søndergaard, an architect/artistic researcher based in Sweden and a Danish poet/sound Artist. Orrù has been working in artistic research developing methodologies for sustainable urban design as part of her PhD. She explores swarming processes and behaviour in relation to urbanism, the role of resilience, nature relations, assemblage theory, biomimesis and collective imagining that influence sustainable urban‐making in an intervention called 'Transit'. Søndergaard’s breakthrough into literary works was a book called ’Bees die Sleeping’ ﴾1998﴿, and bees are a reoccurring theme in his writing. Søndergaard has experience in sound compositions and music, working between sound, poetry and words. Secondly, the exchange between the project team and Lisboa Incomum, a space for experimental music, host the symposium and hold research gatherings, musical events and education.