To bring the message home, literally, it would be nice to create a small installation piece that can be given to visitors, and that has functionality similar to the installation itself.
Bacteria To Go is a small item that changes its visuals on some simple input, as light or heat. For example, the item could change color when lit, or when heated up to body temperature. But would ‘turn off’ when not lit, or when it cools below 30 C. Chemicals are also an option (think: dish washing liquid, or beer). But then an opening has to be provided, which is problematic.
The point of this artifact is that:
- it’s small, can be carried with oneself
- can be triggered easily
- has living bacteria inside that reacts to the user’s input
The bacteria would be housed in some container, probably made of plastic. The simpler, and more bio-tech looking the better. Maybe test tubes can be used for this purpose.
The same bio-brick approach can be used as described in ArchitecturalOverview. The actuator part should be the same as for the installation, while the sensor brick is probably different. Having the very same visual effect brings home the message of the modularity of the bio-brick approach: the same ‘code’ is put into both artifacts, but is wired differently.
Depending on the cost of these items, they might be available as free handouts in a limited number, or for purchase at the exhibition space store.
Probably the item will have a short shelf life, as as soon as it runs out of food, the bacteria will starve.
The question is: how much food can be pre-packed in a container? Can the food be replenished in a home environment?