An der schönen regenbogenfarbenen Donau
-On the beautiful rainbow-colored Danube-
This artwork was based on a project to isolate and visualize some bacteria from the Danube (Donau) at Schloegen and Linz with local people, on the occasion of an artist in residence program at the Wuensch Gallery (Linz) in 2010.
Three plates are illuminated from obliquely downward. On the upper two plates, humans and rainbow are painted with a bacterial strain, showing rainbow colors dependent on one’s visual angles. This is due to ‘structural color’ or ‘iridescence’ mechanism like for opal. On the lower plate, some bacteria digest agar, by which they ‘dig’ the plate to make a relief.
Both relief and iridescence can be visualized within some proper visual angles for each plate. So, one have to change their standing position, and finds how they look different depending on her/his movement. During my stay in Austria, I enjoyed both rainbow and human interactions, which were immediately transformed into the artwork.
Both iridescence and relief here are ephemeral. The extent of iridescence depends on the growth of bacteria, and is gradually lost, as the colony grows. The relief is also transient. The more bacteria grows, the more agar is digested to be dissolved. Thus, these images are easily gone, as the real rainbow is. Nevertheless, or therefore, rainbow stands the test of time in one’s mind.
*This artwork was realized at the Galerie Wuesch as an AirCube artist-in-residence program (Linz) in 2010. Experiments were kindly supported by the Ars Electronica Center Biolab (special thanks to Mr. Stefan Schwarzmair). This artwork was partially supported by metaPhorest (BioAesthetics platform at Waseda University, Iwasaki Lab).