Jarrett Mellenbruch, Virtual Vector Laboratory, 2013-ongoing. Corian, stainless steel, ipod, macro lens, specimen pin, and pattern recognition algorithm, 10 x 6 x 6 in.

Jarrett Mellenbruch: Use-Value Aesthetics

What do bees want? The fact that Jarrett Mellenbruch has spent seven years trying to find the answer tells you a lot about him. Haven, his most extensive project to date, features a series of pole-mounted, Corian, wood, and steel beehives designed to provide a safe environment for wild honeybees imperiled by colony collapse disorder and other threats. Though the specially designed hives sound like science, they emanate from Mellenbruch’s concept of use-value aesthetics,which sets real world outcome-oriented solutions as an artistic goal. The purposeful creation of utility within the context of an artwork can act to expand the territory of what is considered art, he writes in “Use-Value Aesthetics”, a master’s thesis that he published in illustrated book form in April 2014. A …see the entire article in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.