The artefacts of the invisible
“Camera Obscura and the artefacts of the invisible” is a project by Vanesa Lorenzo Toquero conducted at HEAD – Genève:
A work master about the abstract poetry of invisible data hidden in nature and brought visible through the use of cybernetics, DIY machines and bioengineered organisms in the age of the Anthropocene. By merging electronic media and citizen science, this research and interactive installation uses bio reporters as a tool to gain understanding of a microbe’s perception of the Anthropocene. Like in a “Camera Obscura”, the viewer can choose to witness a timeline of environmental changes since 1970’s in Rhône Valley by observing an hyper realistic representation through a hole. Inside this black box, a manual lever triggers a clock mechanism with a carrousel that contains water samples with fluorescent bacteria (bio-reporter) that reacts to heavy metals. A system with LEDs, lenses and light captors will excite the fluorescence of the sample and read the amount of pollution (fluorescence and turbidity) that is inside. A microcontroller will translate data in order to guide the piping system that will deliver bits of black ink into a spherical carboy of glass filled with water. The more people approach to see what happens inside, the more visible it becomes the traces and anxieties of our progress.
As a proof of the invisible microcosms and biodiversity, 12 petri dishes are located in a table with its GPS coordinates along an engraved footprint of the Rhône river from Visp to Geneva.