Lenore Malen is a multi-disciplinary artist working with photo, video and audio installation, live performance and artist’s books, creating imaginative scenarios involving historical fiction. Using the lens of history—and humor—she examines extreme belief systems, the far-ranging irrationalities of our time and the sciences and technologies that have informed them. Her ongoing project “The New Society for Universal Harmony,” that fictively re-invents an l8th-century utopian society, began in 2000 as an ad-hoc experiment with a group of artists/ actors and quickly became a work-in-progress. It’s pseudo-scientific activities are archived and documented in many media including a performance with the BBC, and a 144-page book (Granary Books, Inc.)
"Harmony as a Hive," (2007) the most recent performance staged by The New Society for Universal Harmony (Cue Art Foundation, 2007) examined the ancient relationship of bees to human society in view of recent threats to the world’s bee population by globalization, climate change and resulting environmental degradation. This work explored a single example of interspecies dependency crucial to human life on earth. Currently she is working on a film to be screened at Wesleyan University in Spring 2009 called “The Animal That I Am,” It narrates these concerns from the point of view of independent beekeepers in upstate New York. This film touches on the many factors contributing to the decline of the honeybee, including Colony Collapse Disorder the syndrome that has received the widest media attention. The film explores the problems facing large commercial apiaries that use methods of raising bees that are proving unsustainable. The film features interviews with 6 independent beekeepers—men and women– from the Hudson Valley, NY who each tend at least 100 hives. It focuses on the beekeepers intuitive and unique way of communicating with these social insects. The film also explores the personal history of the beekeepers.