The T. albipennis Sand Painting Artists

Urbano P.

Conference on EvoApplications 2011: EvoCOMPLEX, EvoGAMES, EvoIASP, EvoINTELLIGENCE, EvoNUM, AND EvoSTOC, Torino, Italy, 27 - 29 April 2011, vol.6625, pp.414-423 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 6625
  • City: Torino
  • Country: Italy
  • Page Numbers: pp.414-423
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


In recent years, we have seen some artificial artistic work that has drawn inspiration from swarm societies, in particular ant societies. Ant paintings are abstract images corresponding to visualizations of the paths made by a group of virtual ants on a bi-dimensional space. The research on ant paintings has been focused around a stigmergic mechanism of interaction: the deposition of pheromones, largely used by ants. In an effort to further on the research on ant inspired artificial art, we introduce the T. albipennis sand painting artists, which draw direct inspiration from the ant species Temnothorax albipennis (formerly tuberointerruptus). These ants build simple circular walls, composed of grains of sand or fragments of stones, at a given distance from the central cluster of adult ants and brood. The brood and ants cluster function as a template, which combined with self-organization are responsible for the particular wall pattern formation. The T. albipennis artists are artificial two-dimensional builders, starting from unorganized placement of virtual sand grains, they rearrange them, creating some interesting patterns composed of scattered pointillistic and imperfect circles, a colored moon-like landscape full of craters.