PyroFarms collaboration with artist-scientist Zoë Breed induces brilliant displays
This is part of a research project which investigates the potential of using bioluminescent algae as a living medium.
The dinoflagellate species used in this project is called Pyrocystis fusiformis a type of microalgae propagated by PyroFarms. P fusiformis are known for their relatively high light emission and naturally occurs in the tropical and subtropical areas of the ocean.
The creation of the project involved extensive research into the natural habitat of the organism and how to seamlessly integrate it into an artificial environment without compromising its well-being, this research method is called Organism Driven Design.
The research culminates in the development of a Living Light Interface. This interface encompasses an algae imaging system in which digital input is translated into the biological realm. In this setup, their natural abilities to produce light are combined and enhanced with programmed vibrational patterns to produce a captivating light show. One example of the Organism Driven Design method is that the algorithms used to create the lighting patterns are specifically designed to give the algae time to rest and recharge, thus preventing overstimulation.
Ultimately, this research provides insights into the behaviour of bioluminescent organisms and the integration of living entities into design, blurring the boundaries between nature, technology, and design.
Zoë Breed is a chemist and creative technologist who combines science, technology, and art to develop creative methods to present and conduct scientific research. In her work, 'Algae Alight', she enhances the bioluminescent lighting patterns of algae with programmed vibrational patterns to create a living light show.