Festoon // NOUN
1. a fabric suspended, draped, and bound at intervals to form graceful loops or scalloped folds // a decorative representation of this, as in architectural work.
2. a lacework of bees hanging together, leg-to-leg, between the frames of comb. The behavior is called Festooning. Some say bees can only produce wax from the festooning position.
Festooning the Inflatable Beehive is a collaboration between Maria Molteni and Colette Aliman that takes the form of a 12x16ft handmade Inflatable Beehive and corresponding programing. Referencing primarily the Festoon’s application to beekeeping (strands of bees festoon to bridge frames of comb) as well its structural decor (gathered/scalloped material), FESTOONING hinges on the idea that individual parts may link together to form more complex and energized systems. It may also be a tool for interdisciplinary learning, social interaction, and celebration.
photos above by Dana Clancy
Over several months Molteni and Aliman built a giant inflatable shelter, accommodating 10-15 human beeings inside, while thoroughly documenting their design and construction process. Based on the form of an iconic skep beehive, this portable structure is a lure and home base for hosting lectures, demonstrations, and performances related to honey bees and social infrastructures. During more intimate neuro-festooning sessions participants will entangle to share thoughts and skills, offering entomology, lore, philosophy, and devotion. Programing encourages participants to discuss, celebrate, and study honeybees, to contemplate their response to environmental changes, and to consider the beehive’s influence on social structures throughout history.
This project encourages regenerative research and open discussion rather than the pursuit of stylish hardline truths. Your two cents are a welcome supplement to today’s most progressive artistic and environmental perspectives.
We would like to blow issues to their appropriate proportion and scale rather than blowing myth and media out of proportion. Upon entering the space participants may become aware of the realities of consumption as they are literally consumed. We’d also like to recognize the pedagogical context in which inflatables have historically been used. Pneumatic forms create an alternate universe, a hub or think tank for conversation, education, and brainstorming.