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Sonja Bäumel & Erich Schopf
Cartography of the Human Body

Cartography of the Human Body deals with the skin bacteria on a human body and the bacteria absorbed on November 11, 2010 in a specific area of Vienna, Austria.

The different morphologies, colours and quantities of bacteria on different body areas were examined, analysed, counted and documented. The bacteria were bred and kept alive at -70 °C. In the framework of an interaction study, experiments were made to study the bacteria’s hierarchies. Weak bacteria were applied first to guarantee their unhindered growth and to achieve the desired colours on the bacteria image. After applying the studied invisible bacterial colour on the body, a body print was made on a textile material, which had been provided with nutrients. As soon as the bacteria visibly grew, their growth was stopped and the actual state was documented with a body print on textile.

Every visible point on the bacteria image has special significance and represents a thought process and experiment.

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