FRAMEicariums are the ant-farms of your childhood re-imagined into a living work of art that showcases the geological excavations of the tunnels formed by Harvester Ants. Created by Hugh Hayden & Katie Vitale, unlike a conventional ant farm, this community is displayed as a designed centerpiece on a wall or desktop. The FRAMEicarium is constantly changing and active. It demonstrates the elegant performance of everyday tasks and behaviors of an ant community.
Stemming from the word formicarium (the scientific term for the enclosure of ant colonies), the FRAMEicarium showcases the ant ecosystem in a repurposed picture frame.
FRAMEicariums use a vivid spectrum of color-coordinated schemes made of sand, Plexiglas and salvaged picture frames. A Plexiglas viewing box is inserted into the frame
and punctured to allow air and feeding holes. Easily removable, the viewing box can be cleaned and replaced with new sand and ants when necessary.
The frames are repurposed found objects from Brooklyn and the surrounding boroughs. Additionally as pets and as an educational tool FRAMEicariums expose both children
and adults to the complexities, fragility, and responsibilities necessary to maintain an ecosystem. FRAMEicariums expose viewers to the temporal life cycle of the worker ant.
FRAMEicariums are a nostalgic element of childhood elevated into a contemporary designed object that appeals to both children and adults.