Untitled (undifferentiated tobacco cells) (2018)

A project with Zach LeBlanc

A work-in-progress shot of a long-term project to grow typefaces from plant cells. This exhibition shot shows some test growths at 42 days using different techniques (both stencils and stamps in agar) for growing the letterforms.

Although starting transparent and runny, the cells shown here have grown into spongy connected masses and are showing some deep emerald-coloured spots indicative of potential shoot growth.

Installation view, CreateWorld exhibition, November 2018, Brisbane, Australia. In the top corner of the image, a timer controls the growing light (chosen with a wavelength range to suit the growth of the cells) to give 16 hours of light per day. The brown disgusting looking Petri dishes contain cells that were placed simply to check on cell culture consistency and how it leads to growth, placed down many months earlier and now not so healthy. Dead, actually.
The laser cut stencils used to lay down the cells in some of the petri dishes.
This isn’t in a climate controlled environment so condensation has formed on the lids of the Petri dishes. However, the cell growths can be seen to have evolved from the nice clean 2D shapes laid down into much more amorphous 3D structures.