Science Gallery - Page Title (for print only)

Back to Science Gallery


Nigel Helyer, Australia

The Host project suggests that for a moment we abandon our anthropomorphic worldview and think about life (well actually think about sex) from the perspective of an insect. We are invited to join an audience of 200 live crickets, who are attending a very serious scientific lecture on the sex life of insects, which we quickly realise is rather more complex and interesting than our own! One screen shows the heavily pixelated talking-head of the scientist, the other an image of an oscilloscope signal. The oscilloscope image with its crackling sound-track was obtained under laboratory conditions and is a direct recording of the electrical activity in the aural nerve centre of a cricket listening to the sex lecture. From one perspective the creature becomes a type of electro-physiological microphone—but at a deeper metaphorical level we are asked to re-consider our own perceptual assumptions about the world.

Host Interview
Host Photo: Nigel Helyer
Host Photo: Ruza Leko