Infected Light

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My work is very much driven by the development of processes, that for me, are as important as the aesthetic of the final work, and so it’s vital that these, and their journey into being,  have their own inherent elegance.  This new project explores a couple of themes that are central to my practice, serendipity, and the need to allow natural processes to co-author the work.

When agar plates are left for too long in a warm incubator, by a forgetful microbiologist perhaps, they dry out. Rather than this being a disaster, I noticed these dried forms have their own unique aesthetic. Dried in this way, the agar enters a glassy state which incorporates and  preserves the bacterial colonies. The now translucent bacterial colonies become  biological lenses, so that when I shine light through them, it acquires characteristics derived from its interaction with the bacteria that is passes through, allowing me to invert scientific practice, and to project what would normally only be visible under a microscope, into the world that we can see (please follow the link below to view this early work).

The Extended Self

I’ve now revisited this work using a number of designs made by  bacteria as they grow on agar and converted these into glass-like films (please see images below)

Examples of the glass-like films containing coloured bacterial lenses.

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These glass-like films are the placed onto an overhead projector the bacteria become lenses and the light that passes through them becomes becomes a portal, allowing observers to engage directly with a bacterially modified form of energy and to experience moments of intense intimacy with organisms that usually invoke disgust and revulsion (please see examples of the projected light below).

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The glass-like films on the overhead projector

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The glass-like films on the overhead projector

 

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