We Are Not Alone (2015)

Liminal Materials #1: A study in bioluminescence and spatialised sound
Anthony Rowe / Natasha Barrett

Photobacterium phosphoreum, blown glass, ambisonics and wavefield synthesis 3D sound, ultrasonic sound beam, computer, Arduino controller.
5m x 5m x 3m.

A sphere stands alone, suspended in the middle of a room. A wash of 3D sound slowly penetrates the space. Every so often the space is disturbed, and the sphere and the sound-field erupt into life, forming vortices of luminescence and living objects of sound.

What at first is considered as a single volume of beguiling glowing liquid is in fact a vast colony of living organisms; bioluminescent bacteria (Photobacterium phosphoreum) have been breeding in the sphere resulting in billions of living, communicating beings. Although we are looking onto them, enclosed in glass, we are ourselves enclosed inside a space cohabiting with waves and points of sound behaving as if it were also alive.

A project by Anthony Rowe and Natasha Barrett.

Siouxsie Wiles (Associate Investigator, Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, Auckland University)
Brian Robertson (MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection, Imperial College, London)
Paul Grini (Genetics and Evolutionary Biology, University of Oslo)
Elijah Jeremiah Aller (Glass blower)

Supported by Norsk Kulturr├ąd.
Shown at OSLO LUX 2015
Awarded an HONORARY MENTION at Ars Electronica Awards 2017

More images HERE