Neil Usher

Domestic Mutualism

Insect behaviour is genetically hard-wired, their response to stimuli is instinctual and not considered or calculated in a way we associate with more complex organisms.  If we understand the language insects employ and manipulate how they sense and respond to the environment, could we apply their labour for our own ends?  What functions could they perform for us if we controlled them? How would you feel if they cleaned your home at night?

Special Thanks
Dr George Beccaloni and Dr Mick Webb at the Natural History Museum.
Paul Usher

Website
Neil-Usher.com

programme information projects
Artiblatta sublingulo  - a UV-C sterilised cockroach with optogenetically controlled behaviour. This insect is designed to exist in a closed system within your kitchen and clean appliances like ovens, microwaves and dishwashers.  It fills the niche that would otherwise provide food for ‘pest’ species. Artiblatta sublingulo - a UV-C sterilised cockroach with optogenetically controlled behaviour. This insect is designed to exist in a closed system within your kitchen and clean appliances like ovens, microwaves and dishwashers. It fills the niche that would otherwise provide food for ‘pest’ species.
The animal’s back has unique markings in-order for individuals to be tracked within the system. The animal’s back has unique markings in-order for individuals to be tracked within the system.
Artiformica dysonatta  - a domesticated form of fungus cultivating ant. Augmented with modified bacterial secretions this ant is able to grow its symbiotic fungus on a number of different waste materials commonly found in the home. Artiformica dysonatta - a domesticated form of fungus cultivating ant. Augmented with modified bacterial secretions this ant is able to grow its symbiotic fungus on a number of different waste materials commonly found in the home.
Highly organised with complex division of labour, this species could keep your floors immaculate. Highly organised with complex division of labour, this species could keep your floors immaculate.