Anne Marie Maes is an artist and a researcher. Her work incorporates sculpture, photography, video, installation and public participation.
Her research practice combines art and science with a strong interest for DIY technologies. She works with a range of biological, digital and traditional media, including live organisms.
Anne Marie Maes is the founding director of several non-profit art organizations as Looking Glass, So-on and Okno. She has for decades been a recognized leader pioneering art-science projects in Belgium, using highly original ways to bring out hidden structures in nature by constructing original technological methods to probe the living world and by translating that in artistic creations through sonification, visualization, sculptures, large-scale long-term installations, workshops, lectures and books.
She has a strong international profile, having exhibited (amongst others) at Bozar in Brussels, Koç University Gallery in Istanbul, Borges Center in Buenos Aires, Arsenals Museum in Riga, Skolska Gallery in Prague, the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, the Designmuseum in Mons, the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, Ars Electronica OK Center in Linz, Fundació Miró in Barcelona, Museum de Domeinen in Sittard and the Leonardo Science and Technology museum in Milano.



from February 15 to May 20 2018 in the Fundació Miró, Barcelona (Catalunya)
Curated by Martina Millà

Beehave is an exhibition project that reflects contemporary artists’ growing interest in the survival crisis affecting honey bees and many other insect pollinators. Beehave also addresses the current debate about urban beekeeping, a practice that is not yet widespread in large cities in Spain. Accordingly, Beehave broadens the scope of the exhibition to span the entire city with ten urban interventions carried out by local and international artists.
The exhibition at the Fundació Joan Miró will include a series of newly-produced installations that will invite visitors to approach a variety of aspects of the cognitive world of bees while providing them with transformative immersive experiences.
From March to June, Beehave will also unfold throughout Barcelona with actions aimed at raising citizen awareness concerning the important role that honey bees play in preserving biodiversity, on which the endangered balance of our planet’s ecosystems depends. One of Beehave’s objectives is, as its title suggests, to educate and foster greater knowledge of these insects, thus broadening the boundaries of our anthropocentric perception.

AnneMarie Maes will present the project BEE AGENCY, all installation in 3 parts. The core of Bee Agency is the new video THE VARIATION GAMES.
Variation Games are games where the set of rules is constantly adapted by the players. The video is a condensed edit of a year-long audiovisual observation of the behaviour of a honeybee colony in the private environment of their nest. The recordings are made with an infrared camera and contact microphones inside the beehive. The content of this video focuses on the first 6 weeks of the observation, when the bees start the building of their nest. The images show how they first scan the empty space and detect all foreign objects (in this case paper pasted on the back of the hive), which they propolize and eventually tear down, thus appropriating their territory. They start organizing their activities to design the locus as their home. The images demonstrate and reveal decision-making, networking, collaboration and collective intelligence.


Intelligent Guerilla Beehive, bee careful

The complex bee ecosystem and its influence on others has been underlined by science, such as the threats caused by the urban pollution. “Intelligent Guerilla Beehive” is a beehive designed to allow bee colonies to survive in particularly compromised urban environments. It is a sensitive device that reacts to possible environmental pollution and contributes internally to the preservation of bee health. In fact the skeleton reproduces the shape of a hive and it is covered by a thin skin made of organic material (cellulose and chitosan) inhabited by particular bacteria that capture the polluting particles from the pelvis of the bee body, changing colour. On the inside of the membrane there are other symbiotic bacteria, keeping the beehive microbial balanced. The genesis of this artefact is complex and meticulous. The artist and beekeeper Anne Marie Maes has been studying the behaviour of these precious insects for a long time. This is the third of a series of works focused on bees in big cities, placing them at the centre of an implicit analysis of transformations in these territories, giving them a visibility and importance forgotten outside the volatile media. This work is an urban resistance mechanism that simultaneously attacks the mechanisms of pollution and protects the development of animal life forms, with an accuracy and sensitivity that elects science to an alchemical tool for art.

Chiara Ciociola, Neural Magazine (filed under Hacktivisms, New Media Art


My work is a tight coupling between research and art. It meanders on the edge of biology, ecology and technology. My artistic research is materialized in techno-organic objects that are inspired by factual/fictional stories; in artifacts that are a combination of digital fabrication and craftsmanship; in installations that reflect both the problem and the (possible) solution, in multispecies collaborations, in polymorphic forms and models created by eco-data.
In my Laboratory for Form and Matter I study the processes by which Nature creates form: How bees create honeycombs, how they self-organize into swarms, how plants grow and form geometric patterns, how bacteria and yeast cells collectively create material surfaces forming biofabrics. I observe and analyze these processes, isolate them or causes them to appear in artificial conditions. I create art works from this artistic research in many different media: installations, video, audio, prints, objects. These art works often go beyond the pure esthetic experience of remarkable structures, even if the sense of beauty is always there.

SC / 184 pages / 21 x 14,8 cm
Published by MER. Paper Kunsthalle – Design Studio Luc Derycke – Price 25.00 euros
Authors: AnneMarie Maes, Luc Steels, Armin Medosch, Darko Fritz, Edith Doove
ALCHIMIA NOVA – AnneMarie Maes – 2016

AnneMarie Maes is a multi-media artist who has been studying the tight interactions and co-evolutions within urban ecosystems. In the open-air lab on the rooftop of her studio, she created an experimental garden and has been keeping bees in self-designed beehives, equipped to bring out hidden structures in the life of the colony. Her “field notes” provide an on-going source of inspiration for her artworks. The Bee Laboratory, as well as her Laboratory for Form and Matter, where she experiments with bacteria and “living” textiles, open a framework that has been initiating a wide range of installations, photography works, sculptures, workshops and books. It is a long-term project on the edge of art, science and technology.

Buy the book online at:
Available at following bookshops:
Brussels/Belgium: PASSA PORTA
Brussels/Belgium: WIELS BOOKSHOP
Brussels/Belgium: BOZAR BOOKSHOP
Gent/Belgium: COPYRIGHT
Antwerp/Belgium: COPYRIGHT
Barcelona/Spain: LA CENTRAL BCN (Raval, Mallorca and Macba bookshops)
Berlin/Germany: PRO QM
Berlin/Germany: DO YOU READ ME?!
Available at following libraries:
San Francisco, California: KADIST Art Center, library
Oakland, California: Mark Thompson’s Orn Honeybee Archive
Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Media Lab, library



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