Microscopic Bacteria Eat Away At Cosmic Photographs, Unearthing An Entirely New Universe


“Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.”

So reads the quote of French mathematician Blaise Pascal, emblazoned across the top of photographer Marcus DeSieno‘s website. There’s probably no better phrase to describe the sublime oddity that is the artist’s series “Cosmos.” In essence: he allows bacteria gleaned from the seats of toilets and the bottoms of motel hot tubs to eat away at images of the universe — elliptical galaxies, planets, nebulae and all. The “microscopic and macrocosmic coalesce” into a whole new universe that looks something like this:

A Photograph of the Milky Way Eaten by Bacteria Found in Unpasteurized Milk (Archival Pigment Print of Bacteria Grown on Photographic Film, 2014)

So how does he do it? First, he grows microscopic bacteria atop photographic film. The film contains appropriated images of outer space, originally taken by Hubble, NASA and the ESA (European Space Agency), depicting everything from Venus to the Reticulum Constellation. The bacteria come from various locations, some more heinous (an asshole, a public bathroom) than others (a seemingly harmless iPhone screen, a friendly light switch). DeSieno then lets the bacteria breed, growing —> Read More Here


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