A protester during the Ant Rights movement of the early 2030s.



Ant City is a story and online exhibit devoted to the immigration and urbanization of Argentine ants in San Francisco. It was developed at the Gray Area Center for the Arts incubator, and chronicles 145 years of the ants’ history, starting in 1905 and ending in a speculative, science fictional future world of 2050. Argentine ants, often called “invasive,” arrived in California in 1905--likely by stowing away on cargo ships and railway cars. Today, they’re the dominant ant species in San Francisco, living in houses and trees. But in 2020, something will change. Scientists discover the ants are creating vast, invisible works of art using their pheromones. They appear on buildings in the Mission, and are dubbed "insect geoglyphs." Soon, humans and ants are communicating--and the ants stage an uprising, demanding equal living space in San Francisco. The exhibit forms a timeline, documenting these ants’ (real) history and (imagined) future with artifacts, maps, and two journalistic accounts that appeared on Ars Technica.