Apian (Aladin Borioli, Ellen Lapper, Harry Bloch and Joris Landman)

Rapid Response Fellow
2020 – 2020

After completing a Bachelor in Photography at the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (2014), Aladin Borioli pursued his own artistic practice and developed the DIY humanities research project Apian. Apian explores the age-old interspecies relationship between bees and humans. This research brought him closer to the humanities, hence the decision to undertake a master’s degree in Visual and Media Anthropology at the Freie Universität Berlin (2018). His work borrows methods from ethnography and art and combine them with the practice of beekeeping. The results are polymorphous ethnographies, which mix different media such as text, photography, sound, videos. ‘Apian’ also aims to be collaborative and has been a site for meeting around shared sensibilities, for example with the neurobiologist Randolf Menzel and the artists Laurent Güdel and Ellen Lapper.

Rapid Response Project

During Phase 1 of Rapid Response, Borioli will create The Intimacy Machine, a new digital artwork in the form of a web platform that will serve as a refuge where humans are able to have egalitarian encounters with bees without the need for physical proximity. The work pushes against the profit-driven technology used for managing the production of bee colonies by providing space for aesthetic and intimate encounters with them for anyone to experience for free on the Internet. Through his work, Borioli asks: How can we allow humans to create more intimate and thorough interspecies relationships? And how can we do so without physical proximity in a socially distanced world?