Microbes, photographic film and a self portrait

Written by: Captain Skellett // November 4th, 2010 // Science Art

Image by Erno-Eric Raitanen

This art is made of film degraded by bacteria.

It’s a self-portrait of the artist Erno-Eric Raitanen. The bacteria was harvested from his own body and cultivated on the gelatin surface of photographic film.

It’s a similar process to growing bacteria on a plate of agar. As the bacteria gnaw away at the gelatin, the film starts to degrade and creates some interesting patterns. He calls them bacteriograms.

I recommend you flick through his online gallery. I like to think I could make some myself one day, except with added science. Maybe add some antibacterials to part of the film and influence the pattern. OR add a mild antibacterial to the whole surface and make a picture of antibiotic-resistant bacteria!

I know I’ve got some scientist readers out there who are into bacteria. What would you make a bacteriogram of? What about virologists, how could you get some viral action happening on film?

Captain Skellett

I be Captain Skellett. Me blog started in April 2009 when I was working full time and didn’t get a chance to talk science. Now I have changed jobs and talk science all the time, but that doesn’t stop me blogging. More About Captain Skellett   Google

   

One Response to “Microbes, photographic film and a self portrait”

  1. Thomas Tu says:

    That’s pretty cool. Virologically speaking, you could innoculate phage onto it and make even more complex patterns.

    TT






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