how I found out about painting with bacteria and ended up in an art contest
There are a few things in life that I honestly thought that it was impossible and painting with bacteria is definitely one of them.
I had the pleasure of meeting Nel (Little Pink maker) that works with biomaterials and she was my inspiration to go to the BioSummit last year at the MIT.
In the BioSummit, I had the opportunity to take a workshop on Agar Art, that was mindblowing. Patrick, from Counter Culture Labs, was the workshop facilitator who explained to us the theory and helped us in the practical parts.
Bacteria painting, Microbial art, germ art, or Agar Art is explained by the American Society for Microbiology as:
Creators use either naturally colorful microbes, like the red bacteria Serratia marcescens, or genetically modified microbes, like the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae transformed with violacein genes, as ‘paint’ and various types, shapes and sizes of agar as a ‘canvas.’
In the workshop, I also found out about the ASM’s Agar Art Contest, which I was encouraged to submit my arts!
You submit the picture, the story behind it, and the materials it was used, in a general audience language.
I submitted the Agar Art Plate and Hearts Plate.
The Heart Plate had this description: “As an amateur scientist, there is nothing more mind-blowing than breaking the barriers between art and science. Using an agar plate and engineered E. coli’s it is possible to open the creativity gate into a mixture of texture and colors, drawing and bacteria, lines and growth, life and art.”
The Agar Art Plate had this description: “better than a brush and paint in hand is a science possibility to turn into life the painting in the mind! it´s an amateur scientist and artist dream to have a living art form.”
If you are curious, Wikipedia has some more details:
Agar plates are used as a canvas, while pigmented or fluorescent bacteria and yeasts represent the paint. In order to preserve a piece of microbial art after a sufficient incubation, the microbe culture is sealed with epoxy.
Of course, I didn´t win, but that is not even important. I learned a new type of art and it made me even more curious!