Tuesday, August 2, 2011

experiments in bacterial communication

Another post not strictly about pneumatic transportation, but on a topic that is closely (or perhaps more tangentially) related if we think of the ways in which pathological samples are networked around a hospital as a form of communication.

This is a piece of embroidery by Anna Dumitriu. Anna is interested in the borderlines between art and science, such as this example of bacterial communication, tracing the movement of bacterial cells on pieces of linen and lace. She is the director of the Institute of Unnecessary Research and is an artist in residence on the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project at Oxford University. Her exhibition of these exquisite embroideries opened on Saturday at R-Space, in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. The exhibition also includes other microbiological crafts such as:
"A large-scale collaborative crochet based on the bacteria from the artist’s own bed, an indigo blue coloured patchwork stained with MRSA bacteria grown on chromogenic agar and patterned with clinical antibiotics and other tools in the research and treatment of this disease, [and] a Whitework embroidered lab coat patterned with images of bacteria and moulds found on it"
Despite my interest in science, medicine, art and craft, I have not always been a fan of bioart, finding many works disengaging. This exhibition caught my eye however, not only for its melding of embroidery and microbiology (see my fascination with this in a previous post here and here), but also because of the beauty of each piece, and the curiosity the artist invokes in the viewer.

If you miss the exhibition you can always settle for the catalogue, available from Blurb.

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