Dig this: A group of students have developed photographic film composed of bacteria. They took E. coli and genetically modified it by adding a protein from blue-green algae that detects light. They also linked it to the E. coli’s digestion: In the dark, the bacteria digest sugar and produce a black pigment, but in the light they don’t. Then they coated a petri dish evenly with this modified stuff.
The result? An organic way of taking pictures. The students put the petri dish inside a pinhole camera, expose the dish to light, and presto: The bacteria produce replicas of the scene in dark patches of pigment. As Aaron Chevalier, one of the students, told the University of Texas’ web site:
At first, we made blobby images and you had to imagine what they were.
But over the course of the year, he and the other students refined the camera. Although it’s still made with old bookends, discarded microscope parts and a used incubator, the newest camera is much more
compact and takes crisper pictures. I love the look of the photos: They’re like ghostly old daguerreotypes somebody found in their dead greataunt’s attic. It’s a great way to show the promise of synthetic biology – mucking with genetic material to produce new and weirdly useful forms of life.
This aerial photograph, taken by the photographer Jocke Berglund, shows some interesting effect in the aftermath of the great storm Gudrun that hit the south of Sweden early last year. The work vehicles’ tracks has created the illusion of a tree in a clear-felled area.
These totems were developed by analyzing online pornography viewing habits. Custom software was written to sniff all incoming Web traffic at a discreet location, sorting packets by destination IP address, time, and source IP address or domain name (if available). Domain names and IP addresses were checked by hand for pornographic content with non-pornographic sites culled from the sorted data.
I am sorry I couldn’t be there— I had an important meeting with my bathtub that could not be rescheduled.
This bathtub with an internal multicolour LED light fitting, creating a dramatic effect in the bathroom. Tip for the designers: connect the color of the light to the warmth of the water in the tube.
Funded and produced by the Public Art Commissions Agency. On roundabout just beyond the Canary Wharf estate there are three trees, two are London planes; the third is a traffic light tree; Pierre Vivant’s eternal tree replaced another London plane as it was dying.
The arbitrary cycle of light changes are not supposed to mimic the seasonal rhythm of nature, but the restlessness of Canary Wharf.
Born in Paris in 1952 Pierre Vivant has been commuting between his Oxford and Paris Studios since 1973 producing and exhibiting work on both sides of the Channel.
The pavilion is made of filtered lake water shot as a fine mist through 13,000 fog nozzles creating an artificial cloud that measures 300 feet wide by 200 feet deep by 65 feet high. A built-in weather station controls fog output in response to shifting climatic conditions such as temperature, humidity, wind direction, and wind speed.
The first essay ever written on Next Nature, published in Next Nature Pocket and in Entry Paradise, New Design Worlds. (download pdf) (German version: Erkundungen im Nächste Natur).
In this article, we explore and redefine our notion of nature. We will argue that our current common view on ‘nature’ needs reconsideration. The notions of nature and culture seem to be trading places. Nature, in the sense of trees, plants, animals, atoms, or climate, is getting increasingly controlled and governed by man. It has turned into a cultural category. At the same time, products of culture, which we used to be in control of man, tend to outgrow us and become autonomous. The ‘natural powers’ seem to shift to another field. Nature changes along with us. We propose the term ‘next nature’ for this culturally emerged nature. Next nature is real nature, no representation, or a simulation of some long-lost phenomenon.