Camera Obscura et les artefacts de l'invisible

A work master about the abstract poetry of invisible data hidden in nature and brought visible through the use of cybernetics, DIY machines and bioengineered organisms. By merging electronic media and citizen science, this research and interactive installation uses bio reporters as a tool to gain understanding of a microbe’s perception of the Anthropocene.

Master HES-SO en Design, orientation Media Design, Juin 2016. Haute école d’art et de design – Genève // HEAD- Genève. Master Thesis II (pratique)Tuteur: Daniel Sciboz / Dr. Sachiko Hirosue. In collaboration with “Biodesign for the real world” (BDRW) a project founded by scientists of the EPFL (Lausanne) and hosted in the biohackerspace of Hackuarium (Univercité, Renens). 

« Camera Obscura and the artefacts of the invisible » highlights the traces and anxieties of our progress through an artefact that uses bio reporters to detect mercury on the Rhone river (by Lonza and other group industries). It aims to translate scientific numbers into black drops of evidence into a crystal clear water within a glass reservoir. It aims to clarify how can a media approach to polluted sites can help for a better understanding of global anthropogenic changes. Many tiny and almost invisible interactions materialise every second in our environment. Genes, bacteria or fungi are able to communicate metabolic and transcriptional behaviour in an habitat and furnish us with information of its immediate surroundings. Data exchanges and conversations woven amongst kingdoms of living beings happening under the naïve regard of our contemporary society. By merging electronic media and environmental monitoring, this installation uses bio reporters as a tool to gain understanding of the world; a microbe’s perception of the Anthropocene translated into a global visual language for humans.
Bois de Fynge, water and soil is sampled in the surroundings of the Rhone river. 
Artefact?
An artefact is an error in both telecommunications and scientific research; also, a modification of biological structure (bioengineered organism) and a object made by humans. This work uses artefacts in its different form as an expression of the invisible, pieces of reality selectively ignored by our capitalist society that accumulates 50 years of ecological awakening.
Extractions are bottled together with a solution that contains our bio-reporters, a genetically modified E. Coli population that contains GFP a fluorescent protein that glows (in different intensities depending on the concentration of the heavy metal in water) when the bacteria starts up its defence mechanisms against mercury. 
The whole mechanism is placed into the black box in the Camera Obscura.
The viewer activates the handle that places the water sample on an electronic optical detector of fluorescence. 
After few seconds the optics detect the amount of fluorescence of the sample and translate it into different drops of black ink.
5 tubes (for 5 samples, each one with a concentration correspondent to 5 different periods since the 30's) that transports black drops into a glass reservoir. 
The reception of the tubes is done on the glass reservoir.
The more the people come and see what's inside the Camera Obscura, the more evident it turns the pollution that contains. 
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