Landscapes of my microbiome
Artist in Residence at Weil Cornell
In collaboration with Genspace
Residency at NatLab, School of Visual Arts 2013
This project aims to create landscapes of New York and places all over the world, by collecting samples of the local microbiome and culturing them - making living "microlandscapes."
My interest is not centered on gathering data, but on creating work that helps me understand what the microbiome is: how a large portion of our world is invisible, how a large portion of ourselves is invisible, and how the microbiome connects each of us directly, ontologically, to our environment.
I'm Portuguese but have lived in the States for 13 years, in Pittsburgh then New York. I travel quite a bit. Is there some of my microbiome that is still Portugal? Am I part New York?
I'll be attempting to collect samples from the major spots I spend time at: my home, work, studio, my home street, etc and comparing it with my own. I am also looking at the flora and fauna, although the fauna is mostly restricted to my cats for now.
The photographs above are of cultures where my microbiome and that of my enviornment meet. Beautiful and delicate borders arose from complex interactions stemming from physical, chemical and biological tensions created by the microbes. At this degree of magnification, the imagery seems topographical and the reference framework becomes landscape representation.
Sampling in Pokhara, Kathmandu
Collecting samples along my way home
Microlandscape of my home
Microlandscape of the laboratory
Microbiome of a flower in my kitchen