This photo series finds the beauty in dirt

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Saturday 17 January 2015 18:00
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A photograph of a Hydrogen Gas Cloud Eaten by Bacteria Found on a Gas Station Pump

Photographer Marcus DeSieno's series Cosmos focuses on dirt, but he has not always been willing to work with bacteria.

When he was younger he was "terrified" of germs and would wash his hands repeatedly after touching anything that seemed "even remotely dirty".

"I've since quelled much of this neurosis in my life, but it has been the source of inspiration for this work and my other series, Parasites. I use photography and art-making as a means to explore and confront the things that have terrified me throughout my life," he tells i100.co.uk.

To create the images in Cosmos, DeSieno grew bacteria on pieces of coated film of images of outer space. The germs stripped away layers on the film creating these intensely colourful, haunting images.

"I am subverting the original function of analogue film and using nature to literally destroy photographic representation as the bacteria imprint their own index in the process," he said.

"In the work, I try to exert control over the forces of nature. I find bacteria, breed them on photographic film and then destroy them, forcing a mass extinction in the process of scanning and creating the art object. I play both creator and destroyer."

A photograph of the Crab Nebula Eaten by Bacteria Found on a Table at a Red Lobster Restaurant

A photograph of the Little Dumbbell Nebula Eaten by Bacteria Found on DeSieno's Gym’s 20-Pound DumbbellsA photograph of a Star Cluster Eaten by Bacteria Found on DeSieno's Light SwitchA photograph of an Elliptical Galaxy Eaten by Bacteria Found on DeSieno's Toilet Seat

A photograph of a Star Cluster Eaten by Bacteria Found in DeSieno's Saliva

A photograph of the Trumpler 17 Region Eaten by Bacteria Found in DeSieno's Trombone’s Mouthpiece

HT Slate

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