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home  /  works  /  bacteria  /  oversized petri dish

oversized petri dish

2009 || sonja bäumel
self-initiate

Scientific data transfer and a visualisation of individual skin bacteria attempt to make people aware of the fact that we are a hybrid, a super organism, which obviously is only able to exist if the different forms of life on the body cooperate.

In the oversized petri dish project I intended to visualize a large part of the invisible bacteria membrane. This project proved to be a challenge for me as well as for the scientific team in Wageningen, as a Petri dish with such dimensions had never been made before. In the framework of the project, I took pictures of the living and growing part of my body from day 0 until day 44 and documented the changes.

I observed the transformation of invisible skin bacteria into a living organism, into visible bacteria on external material. Something which was part of my body became autonomous and visible due to the more favorable conditions in a Petri dish. To see a human body outside the context of a living organism and the lack of awareness for its invisible beauty made think about the generally accepted body-image. This was new input for my work, i.e. to visualize the invisible, to raise awareness and cause food for thought. Our body does not end with our skin; it rather extends into the room in an invisible way. The skin border blurs and presents new views.

This work is part of the (In)visible membrane project which consists of following projects: crocheted membrane, oversized petri dish, bacteria texture, visible
membrane I, bacteria textile and the (in)visible film.