Insect hotels occur in inordinate numbers in Switzerland. Rustic structures resembling a
cabin, they provide gathering or swarming space for insects. Odd constructions, made even more odd by stumbling across them in the dark of a Swiss night, insect hotels are relics to the contributions individuals and small groups make to our domain. But what is so special about insect hotels in Switzerland? Building quirky homes for spiders in a country that is hardly short on space or scenic landing spots for insects is testament to our capacity to consider the vulnerable and what largely goes unnoticed. Little spots of industry, insect hotels are places where force gathers to percolate wisps of power outwards. Feeble it may seem, but that gathering of force in spots of energy builds, allowing us to reach out and around us enabling impacting connections. Spots of force that is enable us to make a difference.
Emblematic of a gathering power, these oh so dangerous in the night structures, and the wisping power insect hotels initiate, parallel “vibrations” of domesticated power and undomesticated force. Bruno Latour discussed a similar type of “vibration” at the Digital Humanities conference in Lausanne, Switzerland recently. Referring to “double-click formations” we build online, Latour emphasised the significance of interconnections, and the gathering nodes of knowledge we form through online interactions. Building connections through technology, through our reading, through our activities we create “vibrations” across and between both knowledge and each other.
We capture and contribute to those ever-growing “vibrations” to create distinct nodes of knowledge. Minor wisping contributions become knots of knowledge and nodes of power and, sometimes, those gathering nodes are enough to stop us in our tracks. Stumbling through the unmapped terrain of our new connections, these knots are the very launch pads from which we can contribute to our domains. Being open to building knots is the first step individuals and small groups must take in being brave enough to build and test their potential. Brave interactors have a lot in common with the builders of insect hotel and respect goes to their constructors everywhere!
*force – see Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus