Bacteriography – The Unique Art of Microbiologist Zachary CopferTweet
“Hi, my name is Zachary Copfer and I’m a microbiologist masquerading as an artist.
Or am I an artist masquerading as a microbiologist?”
I thought it would be nice to change things up a bit in our “Artist of the Week” section – after stumbling upon an awesome blog called Science to the Power of Art. It was made by Zachary Copfer – artist, microbiologist, photography enthusiast and all around creative person. He has a masters in Fine Art from DAAP, University of Cincinnati and a bachelors degree in Biological Sciences and Secondary Education from Northern Kentucky University.
Yes, what you just saw is Zachary holding a portrait of Albert Einstein – made from bacteria (Serratia marcescens, to be more exact). And I’m going to make a big deal about it because I think it’s amazing. What Zachary does is quite similar to the darkroom photographic process, only the enlarger has been replaced by a radiation source and instead of photographic paper this process uses a petri dish coated with a living bacterial emulsion – as he puts it. Isn’t this jaw-dropping awesome?
My Favorite Artist Series: Albert Einstein Bacteria (Serratia marcescens), Nutrient Agar, Petri Dish 9.5 x 9.5 inches 2012
My Favorite Scientist Series: Pablo Picasso Bacteria (Serratia marcescens), Nutrient Agar, Petri Dish 9.5 x 9.5 inches 2012
My Favorite Artist Series: Charles Darwin Bacteria (Serratia marcescens), Nutrient Agar, Petri Dish 9.5 x 9.5 inches 2012
My Favorite Scientist Series: Leonardo da Vinci Bacteria (Serratia marcescens), Nutrient Agar, Petri Dish 9.5 x 9.5 inches 2012
“I believe that the dichotomy often imposed on the fields of art and science is extremely limiting to both areas of study. I create visual art that is about deeply exploring the beauty and poetry that reside in scientific theories. My methods are often a fusion of contemporary artistic and modern scientific practices. By working under the umbrella of art, I am enjoying a more free reign environment in which I can investigate my enchantment with science.”
Serratiasaurus, 2012, Serratia marcescens
Bacteriograph of Albasaurus, E. coli genetically modified to express GFP
“Ultimately, I strive to create art that allows me to share my wonderment of the process of scientific study and my sense of awe of the discoveries that have been made using this process with others. In doing so, I also hope to contribute to increasing the dialogue between Artists, Scientists and their respective audiences.”
Milky Way Galaxy E. coli genetically modified with GFP 9 x 9 inches 2012
Star Stuff Installation Detail
M81 Star Stuff Installation Detail
If you enjoyed Zachary’s amazing art, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section below. I’m sure that both us and Zachary would enjoy that.