I am here – Bacterial Prints

Mantis, Ceramics, 2024

Project Overview

I bio-printed my fathers letter through E.coli bacteria. My father has passed and his letters are what I have left of him. Through the bacteria, my dad speaks once again. He lives, he grows and he dies once again.

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Image gallery image


I made a ceramic vessel to hold my fathers letter. The letter was rewritten using genetically modified E.coli bacteria utilizing CRISPR technology and a bio printer supplied by the lab.  The first step was using Grasshopper, a rhino extension that would generate the g.code required for the bio printer to read. Once the file was set up and ready, we placed the agar plate onto the printer board. The bio printer used a large syringe and special tips to push out the E.coli bacteria onto the plate. The entire process had to be swift to limit the amount of exposure time of the agar plate. The bio printer very beautifully, in respects to its mechanized movements, wrote my fathers letter to the likeness of hand to paper. Once it was done writing, the agar plate was placed in an incubator for the bacteria to grow. After a week, the bacteria had offered a new vitality to my fathers words, making his words both illegible but distinguishable. 

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