Turning Living Cells Into Art | Colonies

Citibreak
A self-portrait of Tal Danino made from liver cells.

The last thing Brazilian multidisciplinary artist Vik Muniz imagined upon meeting MIT postdoctoral fellow, and self-described “bacteria enthusiast” Tal Danino.

Months later, from healthy cheek cells to cancer cells, Danino and Muniz were creating image after image of biogenerated beauty. Muniz, the 52-year-old artist responsible for using focused ion beam technology to etch sandcastles onto single grains of sand, explains: “I always love to collaborate with scientists because it gives me an idea that we can perhaps meet in the middle somewhere and make this perfect piece of art that’s exactly this combination between matter and meaning. Colonies is a collaboration between a scientist and an artist, trying to make pictures out of living things— tiny, tiny living things.” Crossing as many disciplines as the project did boundaries for both the artist and the scientist, it was an experiment wherein the rigid scientific method was complemented by the fluidity of the artistic process, and vice versa.

 

Citibreak
‘Liver Cell Pattern 1.’
Citibreak
A stadium printed with living bacteria and cells

Colonies is the fascinating result of what happens when the two dissociated disciplines of science and art find harmony in one another.

Watch this amazing video about Colonies.

 

Cédric – Citibreak

 

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