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  Exploring the Invisible

Bioluminescent bacteria are widely used in scientific research, usually as internal markers. By inverting this practice and employing bacteria as an external light source, objects and bodies, surfaces and skin are exposed to the soft ethereal glow of the bacteria, establishing new points of contact and visual punctures. What is usually seen under the lens of the microscope is here the source of light that reveals the features of human bodies and enters the world of domesticity.

Exploring the Invisible 2009, a collaboration between artist Anne Brodie, microbiologist Dr Simon Park and curator Dr Caterina Albano.

Anne Brodie's unique live installation and exhibition called Exploring the Invisible displays people and objects photographed using bioluminecence emitted by certain strains of bacteria.

Exploring the Invisible, a collaboration between artist Anne Brodie, microbiologist Dr Simon Park and curator Dr Caterina Albano, Photo: c-lab 2009

In the midst of the old operating theater, photos taken using bioluminscent bacteria are projected onto a coffin like table.

Exploring the Invisible, a collaboration between artist Anne Brodie, microbiologist Dr Simon Park and curator Dr Caterina Albano, Photo: c-lab 2009

It resonates our changing relationship with bacteria. When the operating theater was active bacteria would be invisible organism leading to infection and death. Today their role have been extended to benefit us. Brodie plays with old and new metaphors.

Exploring the Invisible, a collaboration between artist Anne Brodie, microbiologist Dr Simon Park and curator Dr Caterina Albano, Photo: c-lab 2009

A second area of the old operating theater had been made into a small tent. Inside we find Brodie's collaborator Dr Simon Park, microbiologist at the University of Surrey, and a table full of antique crystals filled with bioluminscent bacteria (Vibrio Fischeri). As these bacteria reach a criticial point of growth, a quorum starts and the bioluminsence light gives the room an airy feeling. 

Exploring the Invisible, a collaboration between artist Anne Brodie, microbiologist Dr Simon Park and curator Dr Caterina Albano, Photo: c-lab 2009

With the flash on (accidently) the crystal appears filled with agar. These bacteria like colder temperature, so this show will only last a night.

Exploring the invisible, Private view, Old Operating Theatre, Photo: c-lab 2009

The old operating theater is a fascinating place riddled with instrumental relics from a long gone medical practice.

Exploring the Invisible, Private View, Old Operating Theatre, Photo: c-lab 2009

There is a lovely herbal smell in the space, and baskets are laden with plant spices of all sorts used to make medicine. Down the tiny stairs we exit. Brodie provides a short and joyful event to make us think about the little fellas in a new light... 

The project is funded by an Engaging Science Arts Award from the Wellcome Trust.

 
http://annebrodie.co.uk/bioluminescent-project/
 
Other References: Exploring the Invisible
Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret
Creative Collaborations with Superorganisms
C-LAB:blog: Anne Brodie exhibiting in Landscapes of Exploration
C-LAB:blog: Bee Box
C-LAB:blog: Exploring the Invisible
C-LAB:blog: Helsinki's opening of Anne Brodie's Bee Box
C-LAB:blog: Opening of Anne Brodie's Bee Box
C-LAB:blog: Setting up Anne Brodie's Bee Box
C-LAB:blog: Setting up time-lapse video for Bee Box
C-LAB:blog: Taking down Anne Brodie's Bee Box
C-LAB:blog: Visiting the bees
C-LAB:event: ANNE BRODIE'S BEE BOX
Anne Brodie
 
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