Archive for: November, 2018

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Microplastic biofilm portraits

The following images document the process of sampling microplastics collected from the shoreline of Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center (MCEEC) and culturing the trash for biofilm.  This project was inspired by Water’s Edge, Biome Tells, an interdisciplinary art & science project examines the complexity of microbial communities living on trash in the Chesapeake Bay. Garbage was collected from the shoreline of the MCEEC and micro-organisms from the debris were cultured in my studio laboratory. Initially, biofilm was imaged at the Keith Porter Imaging Facility (KPIF) with fluorescent microscopy, which revealed a diversity of micro-organisms flourishing on human-made products. Micrographs were incorporated into a three-dimensional art piece that displays the debris covered with thriving microbes, ultimately showing the resilience of life in emergent environments created by humans. This project came out of a collaboration with Dr. Tagide deCarvalho, director of the KPIF, UMBC. Confocal images and process can be viewed here.  

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Trash Culture: WEBT

Water’s Edge, Biome Tells – Trash Culture (WEBT) focuses on the cultivation and identification of microorganisms found growing on debris collected within the littoral zone of the Patapsco River’s brackish Middle Branch at Masonville Cove in the Brooklyn community of Baltimore. For this interdisciplinary sci-art project, collaborators Stephen Bradley, media artist, and imaging scientist, Dr. Tagide deCarvalho, director, Keith Porter Imaging Facility, UMBC, use various tools of ecological research that inform sculptural and visualization references and renditions. Trash Culture informs the complex relationships between discarded material culture and the ecological system in the Inner Harbor.  Compounding elements from the scientific “lab” and the artist studio, Bradley and deCarvalho strive to find a middle space of inquiry shared by the parallel processes of art and science. The purpose of the project identifies and documents the living organisms that continue to survive and evolve within the compromised waters of Masonville Cove. Representations […]