It is a creative workshop-laboratory whose objective is to generate a collective aesthetic experience from DIY microscopy and digital photography. The activity always begins with a presentation that traces a brief overview of the history of microscopy and optics, seeking to highlight the essential role of the microscope as a tool in biology and medicine.
They reflect on the role and relevance of the microscopic, and are invited to explore the surrounding environment using a cardboard microscope that they build themselves. Through the collection, observation and analysis of samples of different materials, organic and inorganic tissues, living beings, minerals, etc.
The workshops are accompanied by other activities such as sample collection excursions, software programming for viewing images, temporary adaptation of biology and botany laboratories, and large-format projections.
Methodologically, each workshop-laboratory is developed according to the conditions of the context adapted to different themes, media and resources.
Cinemateca De Bogotá
During the holidays, this workshop was held for children and families on microscope assembly, using a cardboard template (laser cut), a white LED light and a 2cm flat-converted plastic lens which allows the object to be magnified about 10 times. observed (10x). Families assembled their own microscopes. During the day we were photographing the microscopic universe of different environments with mobile phones, to later project these images in one of the movie theaters (Sala Capital). The images were mixed at certain times and transparencies through software developed in processing3.
Reset Mar Menor: Laboratorio de imaginarios para Un paisaje en crisis
The Mar Menor is a saltwater lagoon located in the region of Murcia in Spain in contact with the waters of the Mediterranean, being the largest lagoon in Europe with conditions that have allowed the development of a unique delicate ecosystem. The lagoon is home to a wide variety of endemic species. During the last decades the Mar Menor and its surroundings have changed dramatically due to the human activity of the area such as massive tourism, agriculture, mining and fisheries. Those have not stopped increasing and affecting the ecosystem of the lagoon in the last decades.
In this way, the waters and land surrounding the Mar Menor have been victims of pollution and over-exploitation, leading to a natural disaster. In 2016 its agony became visible with a phenomenon in its waters that locals called “the green soup”: due to the increase in nutrients derived from agricultural waste that is dumped daily into the Mar Menor, it favored the excessive growth of phytoplankton (microalgae) . This led to a massive die-off of fish and animals that live in its waters and an ecosystem crisis that has worsened ever since.
Mar Menor Lab.
From September 3rd to 8th of 2019, the second Mar Menor Lab summer course had taken place: Art and science for a landscape in crisis. Coordinated by Clara Boj and her team, a series of workshops, conferences and meetings were held with the direct participation of artists and scientists to contemplate and intervene in the Mar Menor and its problems. We participate in this version with the creation laboratory «MICROmacro Mar Menor». Cardboard microscopes were assembled with the participants of the course, with the idea of exploring the microscopic diversity of the Mar Menor, studying life forms, biological relationships, materials, forms , colours and obtaining a compilation of images of the microuniverse collectively. Samples of water, soil, some animals, rocks, vegetation were taken on routes around the lake.
MICROmacro laboratory and documental
MIT Medialab, Cambrige EEUU. Noviembre 2019
As part of biosummit 3, a global meeting of initiatives in biotechnology, which took place from October 10 to 14 at the MIT Media Lab (Cambridge, USA), a video installation was made with two simultaneous screens where the results of the MICROmacro laboratory in the Mar Menor. On the monitor on the left, a simple program is executed in processing where microscopic photographs taken collectively of the Mar Menor are mixed. The one on the right shows the video «Mar Menor: a crisis landscape»: a piece of video art made from the field trips of the Reset:Mar Menor 2019 summer course, and the video «Creation Laboratory: Microuniverses Minor Sea". In front of the monitors, visitors to the exhibition could use the DIY microscope that was used to make the images with their mobiles.
São Paulo Brazil, junio 2015
Ruralscapes It was a residency/laboratory program focused on the practice and production of transdisciplinary artistic projects that take place in a rural environment. In 2015 MICROmacro was chosen by the jury to participate and develop a project for 15 days. The objective was to experiment with the study, observation and cultivation of microorganisms and insects in the context. From a portable laboratory with instruments and materials for microbiology, the research was carried out, promoting community participation through the development of activities, workshops and projections in buildings. http://micromacroscape.blogspot.com/
El colaboratorio, Medellín. 2015
This is a copy with some changes of a model published on instructables.com by Yochinok from the lens of a laser pointer, some screws and nuts, and a perspex structure. The photographs were taken from a drift in the Medellin Botanical Garden with the participants.
Minkalab. Risaralda Colombia. 2014
Minkalab was a meeting that brought together artists, cultural managers, peasants, indigenous communities, to rethink the countryside from different points of view. During these days we have been reflecting on the microbiology "laboratory" as a space that can be taken anywhere and can be a simple and useful tool in rural areas.
Microscopios DIY con cámaras web
Tecnoparque Sena. Bogotá. 2010
El reto fue construir microscopios con lo que teniamos más a la mano, usando una cámara web que estuviese guardada en en un cajón para ser reusada como un microscospio digital.