All posts for the month October, 2015

A formicarium or ant farm is a vivarium which is designed primarily for the study of ant colonies and how ants behave. Those who study ant behavior are known as myrmecologists. In the United IMG_3624States of America, it is usually illegal to ship live queen ants between state lines, and ant farms sold there contain no queens. The formicarium was invented by Charles Janet, a French entomologist and polymath, who had the idea of reducing the three dimensions of an ant nest to the virtual two dimensions between two panes of glass. His design was exhibited in the Exposition Universelle (1900) in Paris. (Descriptions from wikipedia).




The Oracle exhibition includes a formicarium with live harvester ants. The ants are fed twice a week and watered daily. The audio for the formicarium is a recreation of a BBC London Calling radio
broadcast from 1926 during the General Workers’ Strike that lasted 9 days, from 4 May 1926 to 13 May 1926. It was called by the general council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in an attempt to force the British government to act to prevent wage reduction and worsening conditions for 1.2 million locked-out coal miners. Approximately 1.7 million workers went out, but the strike proved unsuccessful.

A reliquary is a container for relics. These may be the purported or actual physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures. The authenticity of any given relic is often a matter of debate; for that reason, some churches require documentation of the relic’s provenance. (from wikipedia).

The reliquary bust of Iris Lee is housed in the collection of Kenneth Nintzel, who will loan it to The Oracle exhibit at The Brick theater in Brooklyn for our presentation opening October 22. (Pictures coming soon).

A similar reliquaries include the handmaidens of Saint Ursula. The Reliquary below lives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. in the second photo the opening is visible, into which the skull of handmaiden’s skull was kept.

Ursula’s legend is that she was a princess who, at the request of her father in south-west Britain, set sail to join her future husband, the pagan governor of Armorica, along with 11,000 virginal handmaidens. After a miraculous storm brought them over the sea in a single day to a Gaulish port, Ursula declared that before her marriage she would undertake a pan-European pilgrimage. After setting out for Cologne, which was being besieged by Huns, all the virgins were beheaded in a massacre.

The image below shows a portion of the skulls located in the Golden Chamber of the Basilica of St. Ursula in Cologne, Germany. These relics are allegedly from Ursula and the virgins who accompanied her, although their actual origin is disputed.

St Ursula Skull Relics
Photo by Kevin Lakhani

We look forward to sharing the reliquary of the skull of Iris Lee with the public. Members of the Luddite church who are interested in worshipping in its presence are welcome to attend the exhibit.