Algaerium is an in-vitro aesthetic photosynthesis system of microalgae for spatial installation of algal biotechnology in the urban environment. As a collective family, each member of Algaerium represents an urban bio-repository, floating biota, in which to preserve the microorganisms for their future biotechnological use such as bio-energy. Through displacement into the urban environment, Algaerium re-contextualises the sterile environment of the algae culture laboratory. I have incorporated and manipulated the endogenous yet ‘re-programmable’ biological processes of photosynthesis and bioluminescence.
“I considered the first life forms on Earth and how we came to be as a way to refer to the Natural Sciences. I looked at fossil records of the first multi cellular organisms of the Ediacaran Period, 555 million years ago for inspiration. I was struck by the theory of symbiosis in evolution; our DNA ancestors are the resultant fusion of single cellular organisms and bacteria. The millions of bacteria in our bodies are our foremothers. EON is a speculative fiction, a depiction of early life forms underwater. The Universe was formed 13.7 billion years ago. The Earth is 4.543 billion years old. Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae were the first microbes to create oxygen on Earth via photosynthesis 3.5 billion years ago. First humans 200,000-300,000 years ago.” Jennifer Steinkamp
Water and Bonsai
In his continued forays into experimental botany that blur the lines between art and science, artist Makoto Azuma (previously) has reimagined the bonsai tree, one of the oldest Japanese artforms. This latest work titled Water and Bonsai, began with a dead branch from a juniper tree which was carefully attached to java moss meant to simulate the form of leaves. The entire piece was then submerged into a modified hydroponic environment similar to some of his earlier aquatic plantscapes replete with LEDs, a filtration system, and C02 emissions that encourage photosynthesis.