Bio Art in the Mysterious World of the Microbes

Microbes represent the most diverse group of organisms on earth and have been found throughout the world to the far reaches of the planet. They are capable of living in places we once thought were uninhabitable from the deep sea hydrothermal vents to the ice masses of the artic tundra. These microorganisms are capable of eating petroleum, metals, acids, plastics, and toxic wastes and are thus valuable in the process of removing pollutants and contaminants from our environment. Here, we take a bio art approach to discovering new species within the microbial world. We will visualize and image the wonderful beauty of these fascinating creatures by studying their many shapes and morphologies that often take the form of rods, spheres, coils and helixes. We will use a variety of collecting techniques to obtain these microbes from the waterways throughout and surrounding Manhattan. We will use sophisticated culturing techniques in the SVA Bio Art Lab and state-of-the-art techniques, including the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing to identify the microbes we collect. Through this process we will study bioluminescent diatoms, cyanobacteria, protozoans like amoebas and paramecium, zooxanthellae the symbiotic algae that live inside coral polyps, and many others. Come collaborate on an adventure of art and science and dive into the mysterious world of microbes.