A Brittle Metallic Vellum

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Here, on the surface of humically darkened and acidic pools in an ancient marshland Thursely Common, the microbiological world reveals itself.

On the surfaces of such  undisturbed and natural ponds, a fragile and iridescent film will form. Often dismissed as just pollution, these brittle layers are in fact entirely natural, and are formed by the activity of resident iron and manganese oxidising bacteria. The films are so thin, that they able diffract light, so that they shimmer with the colours of the spectrum and have their own inherent beauty.

mCODED Attire: towards an aesthetic of the microbiome

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The API system (above) is a miniaturised series of bacteriological tests that can be used to rapidly identify bacteria. It comprises a series of tests that give rise to a unique colour code that is unique to each bacterial species, and which can be used for rapid identification when it is compared to a database of known codes.

Here I am exploring a new concept, of transferring the API test reactions (containing the test result [colour], and the living bacteria, to generate textile designs. Each array of colour in the designs will be a unique and identifying  colour signature for the many  bacteria that I isolate from my microbiome.

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In the image above, the test reactions from the API system have been transferred to silk and cotton. Silk seems to work best in terms of limiting diffusion and colour retention

 

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The final dried designs. Again silk much better than cotton.

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The reactions drying on silk

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Silk close up, liquid still absorbing into the fabric

Helion 14: Remarkable Self-Repairing Properties

Helion, is a living textile made from just sunlight and air. Its basis is a type of photosynthetic bacterium called cyanobacterium, the filaments of which have a unique and “intelligent” self-weaving activity.

Here is an experiment that I’ve just conducted to confirm the ability of this textile repair/reform itself following extensive damage. This time, I gave the Helion 14 mat a really good shake to generate a fragmented green soup. Within 30 minutes it had completely reformed itself! Remarkable!

Not art, not quite science, but from that wonderful space somewhere in between

Helion 14: self-repairing properties

Helion, is a living textile made from just sunlight and air. Its basis is a type of photosynthetic bacterium called cyanobacterium, the filaments of which have a unique and “intelligent” self-weaving activity.

Here is an experiment that I’ve just conducted to confirm the ability of this textile repair/reform itself following extensive damage. This is a timelapse series taken over a period of 30 minutes and after vigorous shaking had dispersed the Helion 14 mat.

The bacterium has a unique type of self-organising multicellular behaviour that is able to repair/reform itself after major destruction, and seems pre-progammed to form biofilms and mats.

Not art, not quite science, but from that wonderful space somewhere in between

Helion: self repairing abilities

I’m testing different batches of Helion, a living textile made from just sunlight and air. Its basis is a type of photosynthetic bacterium called cyanobacterium, the filaments  of which  have a unique and “intelligent” self-weaving activity.

Helion 14 under the microscope. Demonstrating the “intelligent” and self-weaving properties of its filaments. 

I was working with it the other today, growing it in small vats, when I accidentally knocked a bottle onto the floor. I was pretty pissed off by this as the mat of Helion, that had taken a few weeks to grow, had fragmented into bits forming a green and filamentous soup. However, when I returned to the lab about 40 minutes later, the mat had some how and almost miraculously reformed itself, as if it had never been disturbed.  Here is a quick experiment that I conducted afterwards to confirm this observation and it really does repair itself. Below are images of Helion 14 before shaking and then after.

The bacterium has a unique type of self-organising multicellular behaviour that is able to repair itself after major destruction, and seems pre-progammed to form biofilms and mats.

 

 

Prokaryia (plural of a Prokaryium: a bacterial city)

A Prokaryium is a complex  bacterial city, designed and built solely by microscopic bacterial cells. Each has a population of a few billion. The many different designs are autogenic and develop from a single seed cell. Some even have what appear to be irrigation tubes. The capacity for such complex architecture is embedded into the genome of every cell that makes up these cities. Would love to see architects take inspiration from these optimised bacterial forms .

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This Ancient Prokaryium is from a project with Sarah Craske

 

 

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