Artist Statement

Iridescent Constellations is immersive audio fiction that explores pleasure, death and desire through following the slow, steady process of fermenting mead alongside the story of a brewing romance between two beekeepers. 
-Salima Punjani & Diego Bravo Pacheco
ID: Two beekeepers holding a piece of honeycomb.

Iridescent Constellations

Text version: Iridescent Constellations
Story written by Diego Bravo Pacheco
Audio descriptions and sound design by Salima Punjani

Bubbles fizzle, pop and burst to the surface of a large glass jar fermenting honey to make mead, an alcoholic drink. Their subtle vibrations smack against the side of the glass.  

Bees fly together, their buzzing amplifies the closer they are together. 

Sweet nectar attracts them to the stems of flowers. They fill up on the nourishing sweet liquid and carry sticky pollen back to their queen. 

The buzzing sound of bubbles
the bubbling sound of bees 
It all, most of all, happens in the dark
It is the night, and while the mead ferments 
an iridescent  constellation of liquid combustion takes place   
bees kill themselves to work

Two beekeepers have blonde vibrant yellow hair similar to the coat bees wear. They shield themselves from bee stings by wearing nets and covering their bodies with thick fabric. Their skin is warm and burned from working in the sun all day. 

While the mead ferments, while it ages, the room also hosts two beekeepers. 
Their lips bubble too, in syncopation to the rhythm of the rising bubbles containing the mead in the big glass bottle. 
Unlike bees, killing themselves to work,the beekeepers are naked, they drink yellow coloured mead from high glasses and from each other's mouths.
Bubbles of desire from the lid of their eyes spark
Eyes are containers in that way too, brewing lust and attraction they rise seeming to oppose gravity  

The season is changing from summer to fall. Leaves are changing colour and falling from trees slowly spiralling before landing on the ground.. The wind is cool and crisp. It smells like sweet decay. Soft steps rustle the resting leaves. 

It's the beginning of the fall 
In the dark, they drink from every possible cavity of their bodies 
they drink the buzzing beverage from 2020 falls harvest
She drinks from his eyes
She is only wearing a hand-knitted yellow hat made out of wool    

He drinks mead from her belly button, he is just wearing cotton socks decorated with black and white squares

[Audio of the melancholic, longing tones of Portuguese Fado plays in the distance.]

Fado music sounds distant through the pale gray granite wall, while they drink from each other.
Bees kill themselves working, so keepers can kill each other with pleasure 
It all happens in the dark, while Fado music sung by a woman fades behind the walls.
Before sunrise, the bees start to orient themselves to collect the last drops of the succulent early fall city flowers
Before sunrise the keeper with the yellow hat  is gone from the room where the mead keeps fermenting with effervescence 

Parc du Portugal has a gazebo accentuated with intricately detailed tiles. Cobblestones pave the ground, giving a feel of visiting an old romantic European city. 

This is happening at an old building right across Parc du Portugal. It has an old, faded brown door, unlike the houses and buildings around it. 

If one opens the door and goes down the stairs right after getting into the beekeepers place, the basement of the apartment is found, which has been turned into a music studio containing a black drum set,  a stand-up base, a keyboard with green labels indicating the notes of each key, there are also some red guitars, ukuleles and Cuban percussion instruments. 

At the end of the room, in the deepest darkest corner, there is an old Singer sewing machine
table. It holds the large, bubbling, buzzing bottle mead.

Sunrise happens, and through the small squared window of the basement. Light cuts through the mead bottle. Liquid gold bubbles gather at the tip, ready to burst and release.

Outside, she has returned, craving his bubbling eyes looking at her deeply before orgasm

Inside, in between the stand-up bass and the bottle of mead, he peacefully sleeps naked on a couch, the skin around his eyes is sticky from the mead that was drunk out of it, it looks like traces of tears around the base of his eye holes.

Stains of mead are found all over an old yet luxurious, worn in, gray Turkish rug where the couch is placed at 

Outside, she gently lays down a canvas in front of the wooden door, her hands are sticky from mead and semen 

On the canvas there is an oil painting, it is the back of an old rusty boat sinking in front of some dry and brown-coloured cliffs as pinkish sunset colours invade the

The beekeeper bottles the mead, funnelling the abundant bubbly, yellow, sticky mead into smaller bottles. The air smells of sweet fermentation, the culmination of months of slow, steady transformation of honey and water. 

Inside,  bubbles will keep on rising frantically to the top of the container  until the beginning of late winter season 

It is then when the beekeeper wearing the square patterned socks bottles it. 

No mead will be brewed during spring and winter 

The buzzing of bubbles from desire eyes and mead containers

The bubbling of bees wings and alveoli combusting in the dark

Bees work themselves to death,  so keepers ‘kill each other’ with pleasure. 

All sounds in the piece were found on under creative commons. We have listed the accounts and sounds below if you would like to use them. Thank you to all the contributors below for supporting us with your recordings.
This exhibition is generously supported by the Canada Research Chair in Critical Disability Studies and Media Technologies,
and in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.