Microbial Worlds Extra Credit

  1. Microbes 1, 2, and 3 by Charotte Bird

Microbes 1, 2, and 3 is a collection of three quilts that show, according to the description, groups of microbes collected in water samples from lakes and streams in the tundra. The first quilt shows a chain of streptobacilli, cocci with three flagella, and some kind of protist. I personally found this first quilt very aesthetically pleasing because of how the black of the microbes contrasted with the white background representing the slide. This piece does a great job of highlights the different shapes that microbes come in. Also the microbes continue on the quilt outside of the slide perhaps symbolizing that they are found everywhere. The microbes on the quilt appear to made scientifically accurate and look like the ones I have seen under a microscope, except bigger. Overall this piece successfully embodies the concept of microbes as seen under a slide and is very visually pleasing as well.


  1. Transmission of information by Jennifer Moss

Transmission of information is a vinyl disk with a smaller aluminum disk in the middle. Printed on the aluminum disk is the picture of two bacterial colonies overlaid with the four hand shadows. In the description it says that the bacterial colonies were grown from a hand swab. I really like this because it is showing something that we often don’t think about, yet is really important; our microbiome. We are covered in bacteria and they are very important to our health, yet until recently our interactions with our microbiome were very well studied. This piece quite beautiful both visually and conceptually, but I personally would have found it more attractive had it displayed the diversity of bacteria that are on our hands rather then showing just one species.


  1. Deceptive Beauty by Ree Nancarrow

This piece is a quilt that depicts a person penetrating a bubble in the ice of a permafrost lake and lighting the escaping gas on fire. In our lecture on Archaea we learned that there is a large phyla of Archaea called methanogens who live in anaerobic environments and produce methane. This methane production is a byproduct from the use of various methyl substrates as an electron acceptor. This form of metabolism doesn’t produce a lot of energy, but it favorable for these Archaea since the environments they live in are very limited in nutrients. These methanogens are found in huge quantities at the bottom of Alaska’s permafrost lakes and create the methane bubble shown in the art.


  1. If I were an artist in this project simulate the three dimensionality and diversity of microbes. Most people don’t think of microbes be diverse in structure, shape and color, thinking that all microbes look similar to coli. Thus I would create different types of microbes out of clays and then incase them into epoxy resin bubbles, so that people could see the diversity of microbe shapes.