Swarm technologies offer a blurring of human/animal/machine relations within the contemporary workplace, opening up rigid anthropocentric worksite structures to a certain fluidity that resembles the shapeless organisational configuration of a biological swarm. This thesis investigates e-commerce fulfilment centres that deploy social insect organisational systems as a means of completing logistics tasks that are mechanical, non-human, insectoid, and hive-minded in nature. An analysis of the cultural legacy of the diligent insect labourer, industrial biomimicry, the materialist philosophy of excess, parasitic relations, and cybernetic system’s noise is carried out an attempt to map a fraught symbiosis between social insects, machines and capitalism.
|13 Mar 2023
|Unpublished - 2023