Nautilus

What It’s Like to Be an Ant

The idiosyncrasies of our social and cultural lives significantly influences our conscious and unconscious responses to the smells of others and our behaviors toward them.Photograph by Gayil Nalls / Installation View: The Hugo Boss Prize 2016: Anicka Yi, Life Is Cheap, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, April 21–July 5, 2017

Right now, at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, there are lots of dead ants in the glass corridors of one of Anicka Yi’s biosphere-like dioramas. The shared nest looks like an oversized circuit board comprised of mirrors and glass tubes the ants crawl through—a metaphor for the information highway. The carpenter ants toss their dead into large piles in bulbous cul-de-sacs as

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