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Interweb project

March 23, 2011

This project has been on-going for a few weeks. Yesterday we presented the results. The project was to take a person from history, pre 1900, and try to explain a part of the internet or a web page to them using an illustration they might understand. I chose the historical Jesus Christ, as opposed to the deity, that is I chose not to take into account Jesus’ possible divinity which would mean he would understand the internet anyway and concentrate on him as a person in Galilee around 20-30AD. I then chose to explain social networking.

I decided to use a visual metaphor from nature and chose bees as a fine example of social networking. I could of used ants or termites or something similar but as bees can fly I thought them more appropriate to represent the speed of the internet and the information making it’s way through the air. Bees communicate with each other by dancing a sort of coded dance that passes on information about the location of sources of nectar, presumably amoung other things. This information passes from hive to hive so is a great example of networking.

Jesus had a mainly rural upbringing amoung a hardy people. His education would most likely have come form his father and other men in his village. He would of been aware of the teachings of the Old Testament as well as of various Pharisee’s, particularly those of the liberal views of Hillel. He would of travelled infrequently to Jerusalem (maybe once or twice) and travelled around in search of work with his father as a builder.  I got most of my information about the historical Jesus from here if you’re interested. He would understand basic agriculture and it is likely he would of known of beekeeping. Beekeeping was carried out at the time. It was likely that clay beehives were used with removable lids.

I painted a picture which places Jesus himself as the beekeeper, or at least amoung the bee hives. There are bees on the clay hive in the act of communicating as well as flying around Jesus. Jesus himself is looking out towards both the viewer and a prominent bee in flight. The idea behind the image is to encourage the viewer – i.e. Jesus – to look at the bees, to study them, to witness there interaction and it’s purpose and therefore to understand the process. I’ve no doubt that if Jesus had studied the behaviour of bees for any length of time he might well of grasped their behaviour patterns and the way they communicated as it is the same approach he himself used to pass on his beliefs via a close group of disciples who then disseminated his teachings amoung their own contacts.

Anyway the picture in a semi finished state is below and, as was observed by the tutors, would do well on the cover of Watchtower or a similar publication. That’s just the way it developed when the various elements I wanted in it came to be. Quite funny really. It was also a good excuse to get into some oil painting.

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