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  1. #1
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Biologically Derived Photographs... mold for instance.

    Here's an idea.

    Are there any examples of people making photographs out of mold, or other bacteria?

    Let me explain...

    Imagine a carbon print w/o pigment and w/o alcohol and with the possible addition of a "food source". Printed on a piece of paper and left to sit, would it be possible that mold would form in the image bearing portions?

    If one was versed in biology and the science of petri dish type experiments, perhaps a whole host of colors, contrast values, etc., could be obtained. Heck, maybe you could even make tri-color photos with the right combination of micro-organisms.

    Something to ponder; any biologist out there with any suggestions?

  2. #2

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    I have done starch prints before. Basically you expose a large, freshly-cut leaf with a contrasty negative overlaid, just like you would do a contact print. You expose for few hours under a strong light source and then throw the leaf into boiling absolute ethanol to fix (don't try this on your stove- fire hazard). You then expose the light yellow leaf to either iodine vapor or an organic solution of iodine. Areas exposed to light will stain purple due to starch accumulation as a result of light exposure.

    What you suggest sounds intriguing. It should be possible to select phototactic bugs or algae and then fix them in place.

  3. #3
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    http://www.wellcomecollection.org/wh.../skin-lab.aspx

    "Marta Lwin
    'epiSkin', 2006-07
    Cultured in a lab, epiSkin is biological jewellery made from epithelia cells, which are cultured to create an artificial skin. The cells are grown into designed forms controlled by the artist. The cells are incubated for a period of time, following which they are stained with a custom dye. The skin is then visibly sealed into a wearable object. The process of creating these pieces includes human tissue culturing as well as a computer-generated form on which the cells are cultured and then transplanted into adaptive jewellery."

    Okay not photographs but it is what came to mind when you said biologically derived photographs
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  4. #4
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Wow Akki, that is disturbing!

    The leaf prints also came to mind. I don't think this specific idea of mine has been put in to practice.. yet. I like the idea of algae too.

    I guess the thing to do is make said carbon print, throw in some yeast or something and see what happens. I might email a biologist and see what food sources attract the most "colorful" bacteria.
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  5. #5
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    B&W photos are natural inhibitors due to the silver and hardener present in the coating.

    Color photos are much less so and will develop mold and fungus and thus they need a stabilizer to inhibit biological growth.

    However, in cases where I have seen growths on photo materials, it has been non-imagewise.

    PE

  6. #6
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Can you think of any scheme off the top of your head?

    The carbon idea could work, shouldn't it?, seeing as it's just gelatin. You could even imbibe it with some kind of solution afterwards, some nutritional soup for their feeding pleasure, and following imbition properties, the solution would be imbibed relative to the degrees of hardening in the carbon matrix.

  7. #7
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    Bacteria and mold grow on gelatin and in carbon glop. It smells just "wonderful". I don't eat Jello and have not really eaten any since I joined EK.

    PE

  8. #8
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    You know.... it does smell wonderful! Hah!




  9. #9
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    One of Peter Gabriel's music videos featured words/images appearing as growing mushrooms. Perhaps not "photographic" but still an ingenious use of "biological imaging".
    - Ian

  10. #10
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    I love Sledgehammer!
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

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