Bacterial BioPigments Workshop

with WhiteFeather Hunter

Thursday, June 14th from 6pm to 9pm

& Saturday, June 16th, from 1pm to 4pm

10 participants maximum

$20 | To register email

Organized by Studio XX in partnership with Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology (Concordia)

This two-day workshop series will introduce non-scientist artists to the bioart practice of culturing bacteria in order to work creatively with them as biomedia. This hands-on workshop will also introduce participants to various discussion topics surrounding bioethics.

DAY 1: Introduction to bacterial culture – Thursday, June 14th

Participants will culture pigment-producing bacteria on LB agar plates in order to grow colour.

Activities include preparing petri dishes and streaking them with nonpathogenic strains of pigment-producing bacteria. The petri plates will first have stencils applied to them, to grow colourful patterns that can be printed onto fabric on Day 2. Other petri dishes will be used to apply liquid bacteria cultures directly to cloth to create “petri dish shibori”.

Participants will discuss the technical aspects of culturing bacteria, such as incubation temperature and periods, inactivation and disposal. A theoretical discussion will be facilitated addressing the invisible labour of the bacteria (cell) cultures and co-creating with microorganisms.

DAY 2: Analyzing results, printing – Saturday, June 16th

Participants will examine both the shibori sample results and the growth on the streaked (stencil) plates. They will learn how to print on fabric with the bacteria, and to prepare all of their samples for steam sterilization.

Topics discussed will be around bioethics, including but not limited to: working with microbes labeled as biohazardous or ‘harmful’ to humans and the anthropocentrism of this viewpoint, the act of killing the bacteria once they have been used for production, and the falsehood of the containment of bodies (both human and microbial).

In the days following the workshop, participants will be able to pick up and take their samples home, after they have been sterilized.


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