PROJECT: „life flag - life propagation
YEAR: November 2010
OCCASION: "Weltwissen" (World knowledge) / Berlin, Year of Science 2010
LOCATION: Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin

For LIFE PROPAGATION,  Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil Anna Gorbusina (Head of the department ‘Materials and Environment’ of the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing) reactivated and reanimated microorganisms of the historic dust sample.

1823 in Paris, Alexander van Humboldt received a little tube with ‘cosmic dust’, which was collected in Calabria, South Italy. Later, he passed it on to Florens Chladni and today it is stored in the Museum of Natural Sciences in Berlin as part of the Ehrenberg Collection. As found out later in further examinations, the tube did not contain cosmic, but Sahara desert dust.

As part of the media installation LIFE PROPAGANDATION they communicate ‘messages’ in public space.

Set-up of the experiment:
 a video microscope recording the cell cultures is installed on a table inside the museum and connected to a computer. Via internet, the microscopic images are being broadcasted to a second computer with a special software. This second computer will be located in an office building for members of the German parliament, facing the museum. It is connected to a projector and installed next to a window.

The growth of the bacteria is being projected live on the Martin Gropius Bau, which, due to construction works at the moment is surrounded by a scaffold. The elements that serve to remodel the façade of the building are part of the installation. The construction foil is used as projection screen for the microscopic images of the living bacteria cultures. The light functions as a binder between the various layers of time, material and content. That way, past, present and future are being ‘put on top of` or rather penetrate each other. The projection shows bacteria like they actually ‘communicate’ on the building. The Sahara dust also reaches Berlin and has impact on the environment here. Thus, it is element of the natural biofilm of the Martin Gropius Bau.


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