Thursday, 21 February 2019

life electric

First isolated in a riverbed in 1987 and quickly recognised for the potential as an agent of bioremediation for their affinity for heavy metals that are otherwise toxic to microbes (see also), geobacter excrete electrons as by-products of their metabolism. In collaboration with the University of Ghent, Dutch designer Teresa van Dongen has created—as a demonstration project—lamps (though the frame of the piece is more reminiscent of the body of a virus rather multiplying proteobacteria) powered by this singular bacterial discharge, quartering a colony in a battery where it can thrive—recharged on a weekly basis with a drink of tap water cut with vinegar.