Bacterial Memes + Bionic Vision
Let’s begin with some background and historical material for our contemporary age (the 22nd century):
Recall the White/Gold (or was it Black/Blue) dress meme:
Similarly, in 2015, Anna Demitrui began experimenting with bacterial art practices that would change the color of dress when a new bacteria was introduced:
Celebrating the Feb. 2015 #TheDress/What Color is this Dress? meme, Meme-ers in 2115 have started to experiment with creating bacterial dresses in a meme-tic throwback style using the perfected bionic vision technologies of the day.
While Demitrui does not directly reference the Critical Art Ensemble, the project above has many similarities with CAE’s 2001-2003 GenTerra project:
Other applications of bacterial memes also started to appear in 2015 when Zachary Copfer introduced a process of growing photographs in bacteria:
Today, with the advancement of bionic vision technologies, the (in)human no longer needs specialized equipment to work with bacteria. Unlike those (in)humans in the 21st century, we now carry microscopes with us everyday, as what they used to call contact lenses:
Today’s memes are no longer easily reproduced images, but rather the playful amateurization and automated manipulation of bacteria. What was for Copfer a new genre of specialized bio-aesthetic practice is today the humdrum daily activity of the ever-evolving meme cultures and gestic play of the late early-Internet age. With pervasive and embodied internet access (via our implanted “contact” lenses), contemporary memes continue to proliferate across tactical and biological media!
Jeff T. Johnson