Water Poems: many meaning cyphers


‘So in a single drop of water the microscope discovers, what motions, what tumult, what wars, what pursuits, what stratagems, what a circle-dance of Death & Life, Death hunting Life & Life renewed and invigorated by Death … a many meaning cypher.’ – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Natural waters act as mirrors, not only to the sky, the sun, the moon, and the stars, but also to the changing health of our biological environments and planet, and especially in the context ofthe impact of human activity upon them. The microorganisms that are present in these watery systems underpin, and vitalise, all of the visible macro-biology, yet relative to these conspicuous higher taxa, the empowering microscopic ecology is largely ignored.


The works here explore the indelible nature of this microbiological domain, its omnipresence, and its near immortality. As natural ecosystems continue to bear the brunt of human pursuits, the videos here reveal the beguiling activity of microbial ecologies that have become established in mundane urban and anthropogenic environments. For example, in a discarded child’s toy lorry, an old cat food bowl, or a plastic tray.


Some of the apparently mundane environments sampled for microbial ecologies



Via Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) microscopy (100-times magnification) and algorithmic photography, the artworks (complex and moving glyphs are produced by the activity of the microorganisms themselves and by their interplay in what could described  as a nonhuman performance.



“Nature composes some of her loveliest poems for the microscope and the telescope.” Theodore RoszakWater