Microbial Worlds

  1. Mariah Henderson. “Permafrost: Warming”. I was reading the author’s statement about her work and found out that Mariah participated in this project and learned a lot about global warming and permafrost. The author was impressed on how global the climate changes were and that the thawing permafrost mass became available for metabolism by different microorganisms. The by-products of microbial activity, carbon dioxide and methane, are the major contributors to the “green house” effects and lead to global warming that cause the permafrost to thaw. I found this art work interesting in visual aspect because the author showed the abundant microbial growth on the media. There are lots of bright colors that make this art piece visually attractive for the visitors to stop by and take a look at it.
  2. Nancy Hausle-Johnson. “EMERGENCE: The Warming Climate is Waking Up Sleeping Microbes’. This exhibition is the first one I see that collaborate art and science. It is a great project because most of scientific concerns (i.e. global warming, permafrost thawing) can be expressed through art and brought to public attention. In this art piece, the author researched microbial and fungal diversity on frozen, partially frozen, and completely thawed permafrost. The message to the public is that microbial and fungal abundance and diversity on thawing permafrost can bring potential danger to the environment and the life on the Earth. There can be dormant microorganisms in frozen permafrost that can become active and be potentially harmful as the present population of different species was never exposed to them before. The art piece is aesthetically attractive to viewers being so rich in color, and very organized. The author expressed microbial and fungal abundance as a different in color and shape colonies on various backgrounds. I don’t think that the author should change anything in her work.
  3. Jennifer Moss. “Global transport of microbes: Migration + bacteria grown from dental floss after eating duck for dinner’. “Transmission of information: Hands + bacteria grown from finger swab’. The author used the same concept that we are using in our term project in this class: taking samples from different environment, inoculating the different media, and describing the growth of bacteria. The single difference that the author described the colonies visually through art and painted them. The students will describe microorganisms more in depth: isolating pure culture, identifying the microorganisms through staining and genome sequencing.
  4. If I would be an artist involved in similar project, I would probably use the following microbiological concepts: isolating the microorganism, use different staining techniques, and use fluorescent, laser, or electron microscopy to create bright and vivid art projects.

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