projector Hackteria version, Zurick 2010
Life micro projector – 2010 Hackteria version
DIY Micro aquarium / terrarium to simulate, manipulate and observe freshwater
aquatic microenvironments [such as those associated with mosses and temporary
ponds with inline optical interface.
Throughout my practice I have been interested in creating small controlled environments
that need to be sustained nurtured and maintained. A repeating element is the
droplet, or globule. A self-contained unit of liquid mass supported by means
of its own surface tension; the strong attraction between molecules to like molecules.
projector installation detail 1999
the Pondlife micro projector my original aim was to create a
micro-ecosystem within a globule of water, which could be sustained
for live durational projection [without intervention of a video-microscope].
Microorganisms and daphnia obtained from a small temporary pond
were enclosed within a small globule of water. The lens shape
of this droplet, and its self-magnifying properties combined
to create a projection microscope. Within the drop the life of
a Daphnia was lived out under continual observation, the projected
beam passing through its transparent flesh and transforming it
into an image. It was possible to see its beating heart and the
embryonic young inside its body.
version, installation detail 2000
2001 tabletop system consisted of a series of interconnected
jam jars and pumps. The light (halogen) light source unit provided
a substitute for sunlight; although this also produced very
high temperatures. Made from an old micro-fiche viewer. The original
used a flat dish [oven dish], and a heat resistant glass from
slide projectors, to create the containment reservoir. Fresh
algae rich water circulated into the dish along a tube. Cool
circulated around this, and an air block infused the water
extra air. The device was kept
cool with a thin ‘fluid cooled lends’ which tap water can be
pumped through at speed to keep it super cool ever with high power light.
version, installation detail 2000
projection detail 2000
point of this work was that the observation device itself,
became both life threatening and the source of "energy
input into the system" the
light from the halogen bulb are similar enough to sun light tofacilitate
photosynthesis. However the updated 2010 version is simplified; fitting
inside one large glass Jar, and uses cool LED lights to provide illumination,
so heat is no longer a problem [unless you wanted to modify it for
high power light]
The Containment reservoir is a raised platform mounted on top of the jar with
a lid that can be placed on top. The lid can be modified so microscope can
then be placed over the top. The microscope now becomes literally integrated
into the micro-system.This is a small space in which the conditions can be
controlled and manipulated; it is best suited to creating a sealed space, with
shallow water where temperature
and moisture are variables. A water jet can be controlled to provide circulation
of fresh nutrient, or food rich aerated water.
Ideal for working with animals adapted to live in the extreme environments
associated with ponds puddle or mosses [eg Tardigrades] which can rapidly
and humidity. Microenvironments that are difficult to simulate. Imagine
a moss clump on a roof tile, it has to withstand high temperatures and
drying – followed
by long periods of saturation, or cold. Some times just through the course of
one day – never mind the seasonal change. The idea is to be able
to observe and isolate creatures in something closely resembling their
and interactions with other organisms and plants over a long period.
In the center of the containment reservoir is a glass window where light can
be projected from below for the microscope above.
Within the containment reservoir is a perfect space for creating a droplet for
durational sustainment. To create the droplet, an aperture must be created, a
material with a well-engineered hole drilled, say 5mm diameter, and 2-3mm depth
to hold the droplet, this can be filled to the maximum point, before the drop
breaks and over flows. By making tiny tubes that aces this space from bellow,
we can carefully control this level, and gently feed fresh water in.
This works best as a home for a larger crustacean, 1-2mm in size say a Daphnia,
where by smaller organisms can be fed into the droplet or food of company, via
the inlets. These inlets should be made as small as possible 100microns diameter
for example would be ideal, something like a hyperemic syringe.