Robin Noorda: Insecta Spectra - Simulated Butterfly and Bee Vision

The way insects see the colorful world of flowers differs from our perception.

The human vision is based on the colors red, green, and blue. Insects however, can also see in the ultra violet (UV) part of the spectrum. Plants make use of this phenomena by advertising secret messages to those who can see in UV. These can be messages of how to spot the nectar, where the pollen is, or landing strips on how to approach the flower. And so, during millions of years, a mutual beneficial relationship evolved: honey for being pollinated. Dr. Klaus Schmitt from Weinheim, Germany, made these stunning UV pictures, simulating the perception of colors by insects. This film is made by media artist Robin Noorda for the ‘Photosynthesis’ exhibition of the art movement Tropism. The dictionary definition of tropism is: ‘the ability of an organism to direct itself towards a stimulus’. The most common example is phototropism: the plant’s ability to turn towards the light. In ancient Greek ‘tropo’ means ‘change’ or ‘turn’. As an art movement, Tropism both literally and figuratively moves in the direction of a stimulus. Tropism tries to move the observer, while the act of observing itself is being called into question. Every Tropistic work encourages the spectator’s ability to turn towards the stimuli that the work evokes.

Biology, Light & Colors, Zoology
Bees & Wasps
K-6, Middle School, High School

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