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Heather Barnett « Microbial Art

Heather Barnett



Heather Barnett is a British artist interested in biological systems and scientific processes. With interests ranging across medicine, psychology, perception, and visualisation, her projects have included microbial portraiture, cellular wallpapers, performing cuttlefish, and edible installations. She has exhibited widely in art galleries, science museums and public spaces, including the V&A, and the Science Museum, and has work in the permanent collection of The Wellcome Collection. She has been Artist in Residence in diverse organisations including hospital pathology departments, satellite mapping companies and museums, and has held Research Fellowships at the University of Sussex (School of Life Sciences, Metamorphosis & Design , 2003-2004) and London School of Economics (Institute of Social Psychology, ReCollect , 2006-2008).

She writes,

My Physarum Experiments at the moment are very much about getting to know the organism, by setting up simple tasks for it to do (or not as is often the case – a very independent minded organism!). I am starting to work with a musician to give voice to the slime mould, the aim is to put the time lapse animations through a computer programme which composes ‘music’ in response to the slime moulds movement, pattern and trajectory, thereby it writing its own sound track. I’m on the look out for people who are working with Physarum and are interested in developing interdisciplinary research into communication, organism intelligence, and cellular differentiation. Anyone interested in the intelligent properties and creative potential of slime moulds generally are invited to get in touch and to join slimoco (http://slimoco.ning.com/), part network/part blog and documentation of work in progress.

My other main pet project at the moment is micro-designs, a design company producing wallpapers and textiles (and a bespoke interior design service) inspired by microscopic worlds normally hidden from view. The collections include designs created from photomicrographs of botanical and geological samples, small creatures and single cell organisms, as well as a chintz range from our own bodily flora and fauna. http://www.micro-designs.com

Click here to see Heather Barnett’s gallery.