Petri Dishes – Artists as Viruses

I have been developing the notion of artists and their gentrification of areas being comparable to a virus or bacteria infecting an area.

Ideas I have been considering:

  • Is it possible to use different materials local to the area to try to cultivate bacteria on?
  • What materials might be representational of the local area/community/residents?
  • What materials can overcome others?
  • Should I swab certain areas?

Thinking about my lack of knowledge regarding lab cultures or how to cultivate bacteria etc.. I reconsidered with this in mind:

  • If I want to grow bacteria – can it come from the artists?
  • Can the bacteria I wish to cultivate be coated onto photographs or maps of the area?
  • Might it be better to stick the images underneath the petri dish?
  • Could I draw with the bacteria over the image/map? (Not sure I like this idea – too literal).

With all this in mind I have been experimenting with ink and map images.


Each of the circles are taken from a different map of the area. Each map represents a different era in history. It is possible that I could develop more artist “cultures” on the later maps and less on the earlier maps.


Having removed the map circles I found that replacing them with my “cultures” produced an aesthetic I quite liked. This is all early stage development at the moment but I quite like the imagery.Image


Below is a further development of the work I posted last time.Image


Things I need to consider now:

What am I trying to say about art, artists, gentrification? Did I intend for this to be as political/derogatory as it appears? Is it a commentary on art/society/economy?



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