membrane tensions

membrane tensions (2021)

Installation. Glass containers with SCOBY culture, bacterial cellulose sculptures, webcams, overhead projector, drawings. Livestream. Timelapse.

Commissioned piece by the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.

Transforming the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery into an active laboratory, ‘membrane tensions’ features a constellation of new, site-specific works composed of cellulose that allude to the beginning of life where the delineation between internal and external was essential for life forms to first emerge. Membranes are permeable, fluid, active, and responsive. Contain but do not isolate. Are a site of interaction but at the same time, a site of tension. This work explores the contained, merged, engulfed, and stretched in order to understand common origins, evolution through associations, and ways for building a culture able of remediation, healing, and regeneration.

The first section presents living cultures of SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) whose conditions are monitored weekly. The cultures produce bacterial cellulose that is harvested on-site and used to intervene the Gallery windows. As an invitation to stretch our membranes and be able to interact with the other, to extend our range of care, this intervention wants to place us all inside of a big same membrane.

Live stream: harvesting and windows interventions (min 1:44)

 The second part of the installation presents lightweight sculptures and drawings made of the same material (bacterial cellulose). Taking as a reference the symbiogenesis theory and creating imaginary micropaleontological explorations, this wants to build on the idea that life has always been embedded in communities.

Finally, in a world where isolation and confinement are part of our current reality, where individualistic and egocentric ideas are the basis of societies, and where walls are built, this piece questions the possibility of changing them for membranes: capable of interaction, and a place of encounter and relationships. 

just add water

just add water (2018)


4,177 lentil sprouts, plastic containers, towel paper, poem.

A project that describes the exploration of an interspecies relationship. For 50 days the artist was exposed to the germination and cultivation of lentil seeds. Through installation and a scientific journal-poem, this shows how relationships are sometimes painful, but also covered of mystery and hope.

As this relationship continues, the project is evolving to serve as the way the artist spreads the plants through the city as an act of resistance against the conditions set by a system that offers an obscure future and a possible ecological catastrophe.

vivarium II

vivarium (2018)

Installation/ Performance

Acrylic domes, organic matter, webcam and microscope live streaming projections

“Vivarium: A Place of Life” is an installation that studies the interactions within an ecosystem, from the movement of matter and energy, to the community created by the living and nonliving organisms. This network of interactions is captured in the macroscopic and microscopic level over time through live projections, as an attempt to scale what it means to be part of a larger ecosystem: the Earth.



ground dwellers

Bio-art. Picture of bacteria collage in agar Petri dishes. 2015

The world of bacteria and mold is diverse. Sometimes considered invaders or contaminants, these microorganisms adapt so as to live almost anywhere. They perform important interactions with other organisms and their surrounding environment.

“Ground dwellers” is a group of bio-art in Petri dishes that incorporates a collection of microorganisms present in the soil where corn is cultivated. Corn is Mexico’s staple and single, most important nutrition source. The conservation of these micro-ecosystems assures future corn production, innovation in fertilizer creation and biological pest control.

The collection of species was obtained by the researchers at CNRG (National Center of Genetic Resources). This is a government institution that is committed to obtaining, characterizing and preserving species important for Mexico’s biodiversity.

The technique used in this bio-art is a collage of microorganisms previously grown in agar medium and cut in different shapes to form the piece.


Bio-art. Pictures of bacteria drawings and patterns in agar Petri dishes. 2015

As using colors in a painting, the different morphology and biochemical reactions with the agar medium of each type of microorganism were used to create patterns and designs.

Even their luminous reaction to UV light makes a new way of seeing bacteria.


Material: Petri Dishes, Potato dextrose agar, Corn meal agar, Knive, Wire inoculating loop | Equipment: Incubator, Laminar flow workstation, Nova Microcinerator | Phography: Tania Lara | Camera: Kanon EOS REBEL T3 | Collaborators: Tania Lara, Maria Micaela Gomez, Maria de Jesus Gomez, Alejandra Diaz, Aileen Jaramillo, Marlene Garcia | Special thanks: Alba Hernandez, Fernando de la Torre.

chemical landscapes

Work in progress. Plant photography and chromatography collection. 2017

If we think of Plant Biodiversity, the least we can relate is with chemical substances. This is because normally chemical substances are presented as noxious, artificial or human-created. In this project, as an art-scientist and chemist, I observed landscapes, with eyes focused on natural chemical composition using chromatography as a visual technique. Plants, organisms and other elements can be seen as chemical compounds.

I started my collection with species commonly found in Jalisco, Mexico.



Jalisco´s chemical landscapes


Nature and if we are specific: plants, are the principal source of substances for drugs. Conserving the world’s biodiversity can assure us of the protection of the next cure for cancer or other illnesses that can appear in the future.

This work reminds me of the importance of environmental conservation of Megadiverse countries like Mexico, because of their role in the planet’s ecological balance, the resources for future generations and the social significance for indigenous groups.


The 17 countries identified as megadiverse by Conservation International



Other chemical landscapes:





protein III: MAOA

Collage of drawing and computerized tridimensional structure obtained by CN3D program. 2016

De la colección de “Proteins”, “MAOA” es un llamado a la felicidad. Esta una enzima relacionada con el metabolismo de neurotransmisores que regulan el estado de ánimo, predominantemente en mujeres.



playing with silica

Playing with silica | 2015

Playing with silica 12 MEGF 2015

New materials are fascinating. Developing materials with new physical and chemical properties help to address challenges in the industry. Fumed silica is a material widely used in the food, paints and cosmetic industries as viscosity increaser. This powder has an extremely low bulk density and high surface area.

Playing with silica 11 MEGF 2015

Playing with silica 10 MEGF 2015

The inspiration for this work was a 10 Kg big package of fumed silica found in my lab. I did not have another option than to experiment and obtain interesting shapes, patterns, and textures.

Playing with silica 6 MEGF 2015

Playing with silica 4 MEGF 2015