Installation, 2018

A data-driven augmented reality fortune-telling experience, centered around bees.

We live in two worlds: a physical world which would be understandable to our ancestors, and a digital world which we can only glimpse from a distance, where unseen forces operate according to rules incomprehensible to mere mortals. Apimancy is an augmented reality experience, providing a window into the digital world, through which we can ask questions and perhaps receive guidance.

Apimancy is an ancient form of divination, based on observation of the behaviour of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera.

Apimancy is a modern form of divination, based on networked communication using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

Newcastle University’s Urban Observatory collects information across the city, measuring temperature, rainfall, air quality and traffic patterns. Among their more esoteric sensors are a number of fully-instrumented beehives, with data available through a public API. This piece uses real-time data from these hives to drive a fortune-telling system. The querent is invited to consult the bees, and to receive the wisdom of the hive.

This work was created during the N18 artist development programme, as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.