Howard Boland and Laura Cinti

  • Living Mirror 

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    See your reflection through bacteria

    Living Mirror is an interactive bio-display combining magnetic bacteria, electronics, and photo manipulation. The cells form a live mirror image. Art scientists Howard Boland and Laura Cinti create this surrealistic experience for the person looking in this mirror.

    A mirror consisting of a liquid filled with bacteria. A camera scanning your face creates a magnetic field with the information, to which the bacteria respond. The result is that you look at a portrait of yourself, designed by bacteria.

    Unique to these bacteria is their ability to swim along the earth’s magnetic field. By introducing a changing field, bacteria rotate synchronically causing light to scatter as a visible shimmer inside a liquid. This liquid biological mirror draws on water as our first interface predating today’s screen-based technologies. The work aims to connect us with a different material image and introduce a biophysical phenomenon different from digital media.

    Living Mirror is developed with the Designers & Artists for Genomics Award (DA4GA) 2013. The work is created by the art scientists Howard Boland and Laura Cinti of the art collective C-Lab in collaboration with Bela Mulder and Tom Shimizu of the Fundamental Research Institute FOM Institute AMOLF. C-LAB is an art collective and organization that engages with critical and contemporary amalgamations of art, science, and technology. Headed by London-based artists Howard Boland and Laura Cinti, it focuses on artistic explorations of meaning and idiosyncrasies involving life, both organic and synthetic.

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