WORKS – Microbial Me by Mellissa Fisher

In ALL, WORKS by Julia

Mellissa Fisher is an “artist working with natural materials including living organisms such as bacteria and fungus creating living sculptures to make the viewer question their relationship with nature as well as the relationship we have with our bodies.”

For her project Microbial Me, Fisher altered the traditional petri dish shape of solid agar – the nutrient medium used for growing bacteria. Solid agar is prepared from a powder-liquid mixture (the recipe varies depending on nutritional requirements of various bacterial species), which is then heated, and poured into petri dishes, or in this case a mould of Fisher’s face. Agar becomes solid at room temperature making it an ideal medium for moulding. Fisher swabbed specific parts of her face and transferred the skin normal flora (non-pathogenic bacteria) onto her agar faces. The results grew into stunning macroscopic representations of a ubiquitous invisible bacterial environment. 

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