Konstprojektet Rethink Bacteria

The SciArt project Rethink Bacteria

A SciArt project about bacteria and their importance for a livable future.

Art is important for us humans, just like bacteria - we need it for our existence. Art is the means to reach our high goals, and serves as a kind of intellectual and emotional climatic powder* to reflect, feel and relate. Pure Effect, together with RISE (the Swedish Research Institute and Innovation Partner) and the Micropia Museum in Amsterdam, has initiated the art project Rethink Bacteria. The aim is to make visible the invisible microbial world we live in. Bacteria are a kind of micro-organism, so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. This makes them even more difficult to accept and relate to. But with the help of art, we can make bacteria visible and experience them, how they sound and how they smell.

Pure Effect is for all of us who like good bacteria, and is based on the knowledge that we need bacteria in our lives. They are the basis of life. As Sten Niklasson, former Director General of PRV, put it in SvD. "We exist because they let us exist". We therefore need to rethink the old paradigm and "truth" that bacteria are only dangerous. We now know that we need bacteria and other microorganisms for both human and planetary health. The new paradigm is based on the importance of bacteria for a livable future.

Over the years, we have obtained the Nordic Swan Ecolabel to develop criteria for the use of bacteria in cleaning products, and participated in research projects such as I-Tex (Vinnova/RISE) with the aim of reducing healthcare-associated infections in hospital environments. These projects are very much about scientific method and documentation, but we have always had a feeling, a desire, to approach microorganisms from a different angle: that of art.

With the new 'Rethink Bacteria' initiative, we want to continue to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of microbial life to our existence - how we are connected and interdependent. We do this together with relevant and dedicated artists, scientists and industry.

The exhibition is planned for spring 2024 and more information will be available through our channels. Stay tuned!

* Lars Strannegård, President of Stockholm School of Economics and member of the Board of the Swedish Arts Council.

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