Lepidoptering

Lepidoptery is the study of moths and  butterflies.The lifecycle of these insects takes place in four stages: egg, larvae, pupae, and winged adult. Their place in the ecosystem is precise. They eat very specific foliage. They live for a short length of time. They survive, like most other insects, by reproducing in incredible numbers. The evolutionary expectation being that most will die. With many predators: the more babies they make, the better their chances of survival. 

In my studio, I have been working with quantity and time. The idea of offspring in quantity is interesting to me. I am developing concepts of the physicality of time and I am inspired by butterflies in this respect.

In 2005 I raised 4000 cecropia butterflies and created an experimental installation for the emergence of the adult winged stage(shown at bottom). 

Working with any quantity of another species is a rich experience and I plan on continuing this exploration. 

Nature creates a set of checks and balances on every population. The butterfly reproduces in great numbers because it has many predators. What if this population faced no predators and started living longer, years even, and continued to reproduce in the same number. The balance of nature would be disturbed and what is there to level it off? Really what I'm asking is how are our human lives reflected in the lives of others?

© 2015 Abigail Good