I helped my good friend Heechan Park shoot a couple of short videos about the amazing machines he built at the Bartlett last year.
Inspired by JG Ballard’s The Cloud Sculptures of Choral D, they fire vortices of smoke, infused with scents, distances of up to 20m. Viewers experience an ephemeral sensation – bewildering bursts of smell defining their interaction with a space.
Video by Ollie Palmer and Heechan Park
Here’s the first testing of the machines near Old Street. There’s a lovely contrast between the rugged, heavy-duty appearance of the machines and the poetically delicate smoke vortex they create.
Video by Heechan Park, with footage by Ollie Palmer
To collect the ants, he had to take a manual vacuum device — essentially a tube that goes into a container and then another tube from that container to the collector’s mouth. The person sucks air in through the upper tube, which draws ants into the container. A gauze layer prevents any ants going into the collector’s mouth. However the scent they emit “tastes very bitter”. “After three days of sucking up ants you sure know about it,” Palmer told Wired.co.uk.