mCODED Attire: towards an aesthetic of the microbiome



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.


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



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


The reactions drying on silk


Silk close up, liquid still absorbing into the fabric

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