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: