Recently in collaborations Category

Screen Printing with E. coli


For the past month or so I've been working with Neil to develop a way to effectively screen print with the bioluminescent E. coli. After many Fridays of trying out different things, we've good a good working culture! Turns out that E. coli grown from plates (exactly how we did it in class) fluoresces better than E. coli grown in a liquid culture. Neil has been kind enough to plate a good amount of the bacteria so that I can use it as a screen printing ink to print photographic imagery and small text.

I plan to screen print with the E.coli on top of ink jet printed photographs that depict my daily route and the various buildings I pass on and around campus--Wilson Library, Rarig, the 21st Avenue parking garage, business along East Hennepin and Como Ave near Van Cleve Park, and my route from the bus stop to Coffman union to use the TCF bank. Other areas could include Central Avenue near East Side Food Co-Op, the Quarry Plaza (Target, Rainbow, Home Depot), and restaurants around Cedar Riverside. I've noticed a number of surveillance cameras while being in these areas, especially on campus. I plan to photoshop out the actual surveillance cameras in the photographs I take and reprint them overtop of the photographs with the bioluminescent E. coli. By creating UV flashlights for the viewer to use, they can reveal where these cameras exist and become more aware of their own surveillance.

When we first worked with the GFP as a class, Neil described that one of the purposes of the bioluminescence was a way to track where proteins migrate and travel with a cell. In a way it's being used a a form of micro surveillance. I started becoming more aware of my surroundings on campus and began to take notice of just how many surveillance cameras there are across campus. We're surveyed so much in our everyday life--at the bank, grocery store, on the bus, etc, but now we also surveying the unseen as well. There's something contradicting and provocative about this to me and I'd like to do further research on the theories behind surveillance.

Below are some test samples that we photographed of the new and improved batch of plate grown E.coli. The first two were illuminated using the Spencers black light and the third was illuminated with the small hand held UV light. We had to do a few test to see how to best photograph the plates and thanks to Neil's photography experience (everything is digital now, but back in the day all scientists had to use film to document their findings). This makes me think there's this generation of scientists (including Neil) who are expert photographers.





Tunnel sound experiment


Recording in the tunnel processed in Max.tunnel test.aif

Cistern Tunnel Test Lighting


Joey, Tiffany and I went over to our tunnel in Ferguson Hall to test out some lighting strategies. With simple color gels over the fluorescent lights, we achieved a pretty dramatic change in mood and feel of the space. We experimented with cool colors on one end of the tunnel and warm colors on the other end of the tunnel to see what scheme we liked best. Although we were working with used gels, we all liked the pseudo-random color swatches over the lights, although, we thought the stark angularity of them was potentially distracting.

We ended up liking both color schemes a lot. We're still on the fence, but one strategy that we hadn't considered before was using the warm color scheme with the concept in the third image of our concept renderings (my previous post), and transitioning to the cool color scheme and the more cave-like concept in the first concept rendering.

Please leave comments because we would like a lot of input that can help us make decisions!








Cistern Concept Images


I looked to a few different precedent examples as inspiration for the cistern installation. Some of the most renown cisterns are in ancient architecture with arch vaulted ceilings and an occulus of sorts to allow rainwater down. Others are natural cisterns with a cave-like appearance. I rendered a few different ideas of these concepts and the last rendering is a more literal translation of the vaulted type of cistern with tensile fabric representing the vaults and a dynamic image of water projected on the floor.





Meeting with Julie, Peter, Joey, and Tiffany


Although we have generated some really interesting ideas, we have not yet determined a specific direction for our collaboration. Some possibilities:

1) Beer Headphones (as opposed to Beer Goggles)

2) The creation of physical objects which could be distributed around the campus. We are interested in possibly recording people's interactions with these objects in some way.

3) Extracting our own DNA...

4) Creating beautiful glass petri dishes upon which images are drawn using florescent bacteria.

Possible Mediums: Glass, crochet, fingerpaint, frosting, performance art.

Laura & Kate / Sara & Christy


Laura Hynes & Kate Casanova

The "Living Room" project: a living performance space, bringing art and music to life.

In the tradition of 18-19th c. "salon" concerts, we would create a salon/living room out of various living elements: a grass couch, a fungus-growing chair, a moss wall or rug, flourescent-protein printed wallpaper, a flower foot stool, a rickety old upright piano (guts open and strings prepared) adorned with succulents. More "living art" is hanging on the walls of this formal space.

Performance of a "Life Cycle" song cycle? If the room took on a 18-19th c. style, it would also be really neat to juxtapose electronic music improv (filtered through sound patch of the sound of something growing) with 18-19th c. song. I like the idea of breaking up the original "classical" songs into fragments that would be gently improvised upon or altered and then interwoven with the electronic music... shadows of their former selves (à la George Crumb Makrokosmos III, mvmt. 5 "Music For a Starry Night" with its ghostly Bach fragments on prepared pianos).

Sara Nichol & Christy Newell

We decided we needed to focus our energy on something specific--something that captured our skills and interests and was doable in the timeline of the class. We had both been excited, but overwhelmed with some ideas that came out of our last meeting with doing a large collaborative project in a public space, so narrowing our focus seemed like the natural next step. Since both of us have an interest in photography and doing something with things that grow, we decided to create a series of living images. Some of our ideas with this included making stamps out of fluorescent proteins growing on a petri dish, making photo paper that has fluorescent proteins growing in/on it, and growing sprouts or other plants on top of an image.

We decided to draw up a tentative sketch of a photo series that incorporates some of our interests:

• Photo 1 is a blank sheet of paper
• Photo 2 is a photo & print of #1 with seeds sprouted out of it (at time of exhibition sprouts would be dead)
• Photo 3 is a photo & print of #2 when sprouts were living, with another plant/natural growth added (at time of exhibition new growth would most likely be dead as well)
• Photo 4 is a photo & print of #3 added to compost, decomposition begins and is later halted, leaving image partially destroyed
• Photo 5 is a photo & print of #4 while in compost pile, with GFP grown on the surface or in the emulsion

The photos could be shown in the Living Room, ideally under a black light.  Photo 1 would glow under the black light because its surface is all white.  Gradually, as the white surface of the photo is taken up by visual information in the picture, they would progressively glow less.  That is, until the final print which would possess GFP. 

Laura, Kate, Sara & Christy

We all liked the idea of the "Living Room" as a platform for other projects to take place within as well as being a project on it's own. It could be a space for Sara & Christy's photos to exist. It could be the stage for a performance of Laura & Kate's "Life Cycle" song.

The Sound of Wood

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In my delightful conversation with Joey, I mentioned this project to him because it is ultimately a musical art piece, but also quite visual. It is a turntable of sorts, which interprets tree core samples and assigns a piano note or chord to the texture of the sample.

I came here to share it with Joey, but I also thought that it was a good project for everyone to see. I found it interesting because it is sort of a destructive method of documentation, but it extends over many layers and, subsequently, ages of growth.

I've always wanted to make a link like this, but I've never known how to until now!