Glow-in-the-Dark Art Created in the Lab With Bioluminescent Bacteria

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While most artists paint to imitate nature, others have found a way to make their work with the natural world. The artist-engineers who worked on BIOGLYPHS, a collaborative gallery at Montana State University — Bozeman, fit in the latter camp. Taking note of the glowing potential of bioluminescent bacteria, a team led by researcher Betsey Pitts decided to make full-scale works of art. The night before a recent exhibition (most of the bacteria ran out of fuel after about a day), Pitts and her comrades “painted” a solution containing bacteria harvested from marine environments onto petri dishes, then filled the dishes with agar, glued them closed, and allowed the colonies to form. Check out a few of the resulting canvases after the jump.

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project.

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project.

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project.

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project.

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project.

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project.

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project.

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project.

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project.

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project.

Image courtesy MSU Bozeman Bioglyphs Project.