Bioglyph: visualizing the urban cryptobiotic crust.

Over a period of many years an abandoned table has become covered in a dark patina of microbial growth. It might not look alive, but were we able to observe this thin layer  with a microscope we would find an exotic and miniature forest inhabited by fungi, green algae and cyanobacteria. I call this ubiquitous but overlooked microbiological veneer, the Urban Cryptobiotic Crust (UCC). Here a snail, a leviathan on the scale of the UCC, has fed on this ecology, and in removing it and revealing the sterile manmade substratum beneath, has highlighted the table’s microbiology and etched a telling metric into the extended surface of the table.

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