This Ballet Aquatic: mixed culture bioconvection


This is an ongoing project which seeks to use photosynthetic and phototactic (move in response to light) microorganisms in natural waters to make images and text. With appropriate illumination and masking this should be possible using differential exposure of the organisms to light, since they will organise themselves in response to this. This is a time-lapse of the enrichment process. The organisms are too dilute in the original samples to make images, so I enrich the water by shining light onto it, and when the microorganisms have moved towards the light I can decant the water that is enriched with photosynthetic and phototactic life. This process itself is intriguing as the organisms can be seen to respond and move in relation to the illumination, and form complex patterns as they do so (at the end of the video).

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