The Wildebeest and the swarm of African Migratory locusts is a succession study of humanity’s relationship with nature. Locusts eat the same amount of grass per body weight as wildebeest. A swarm consumes as much of a crop as a fire does.
“Both of these organisms have life-histories at odds with how people use landscapes: our oppressive management of locust swarms, and the Wildebeest migrations which have been carved up by fences.” Prof. Sally Archibald.
This body of work shares the knowledge gathered from parallel arts and science projects on the same studies and the same piece of land. It explores how we can become ‘earthbound’, in the vision of Bruno Latour, and inspire innovative ways to live sustainably within natural systems, as opposed to attempting to suppress or manipulate them.
This swarm was bred and studied by Wits Scientists in the 1960s. After being present at the Locust and Grasshopper #Firegrazer performance at Nirox in 2017, the current curator of the AP&ES Museum, James Harrison made it available to the artist to repurpose into an artwork.