Artistic project


#1

Hello,

it’s my first day on the forum and I wanted to introduce myself and immediately ask some questions :slight_smile:
I live in Brussels where I work as a social worker and artist. I am part of the artists collective TRIPOT (http://tripot.org/). We work a lot with video but mostly in installations where we include material elements that enter in a dialogue with the image. Our projects are largely research-based and transdisciplinary.
Recently we started a new project about representation of sexuality and the way texture affects our sensory perception. Therefor we like to work with a material that approximates the tactile properties of human skin. During my research I came across bacterial leather and I already started to grow some of my own. Now that I have read your wonderful manual I realized that I made a lot of mistakes :wink: But I also learned about the possibilities to grow materials from other micro organisms like mycelium.
I was asking myself of somebody could give me advice about which growing process would be the most suitable for my purposes or how I could manipulate the process in a way that the outcome would be the closest possible to skin? For instance, from what I understand the material made from kombucha gets relatively hard and dry in the end of the process (like leather). Is there a possibility to keep it softer like living skin?
Another thing that I wanted to ask is if there are workshops about this subject in the near future?
Thanks a lot in advance!

Marius


#2

Hi @Marius ! Pleasure to read you. What a diverse portfolio you have there! I’ve been working as a bioengineer together with artists and designers over the years and it’s inspiring when people like yourself take on the challenge of working with biology :slight_smile:

Mycelium can give you fluffy camembert like skin, or also a rougher surface with fibers. When pressing it can also get quite hard and cold. Bacterial leather feels most like skin, if you don’t dry it too much and if you keep it thin rather than thick. So this means harvesting it sooner than recommended in most guides. So I would experiment with it a bit (it’s easy to work with) and try several growth times.

There’s workshops now and again around Brussels, but none planned right now as far as I can see. Maybe soon! :slight_smile:


#3

Hello @winnieponcelet
Thanks a lot for your answer! Its new territory for me. But I’m already very enthusiastic. It seems that there are a lot of possibilities with these materials. I’m defenetly very gratefull for this forum as it offers a lot of useful information that is easy to digest. Thanks for your advice I will put it to use immediately. And I willl keep on checking the agenda of GLIMPS for the workshops. Is it also possible to drope by an Open Labo with my results to ask some questions?


#4

You can definitely pop by @Marius ! I’ll be glad to help out and often there’s people with very different expertises there, so fun to come with new ideas to the mix.


#5

Thanks a lot @winnieponcelet! I will do that certainly.