Well Being

Disgustingly Beautiful: Art Made From Cell Phone Bacteria

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Gross, but also gorgeous. That's how I describe the “bioart” above, made by British students out of the bacteria that exists on cell phones.

I feel like I'm always hearing about the gross bacteria that our phones can harbor, but never have I seen it discussed in an art context. That's probably because no one has ever made art like this before, which is equal parts creepy and beautiful. It was made by imprinting phones onto petri dishes filled with bacteria—maybe a little bit more concentrated than what's on your phone each day, but probably not too far off. The phones were left for three days to grow bacteria.

Dr. Simon Park, whose class made the bacterial art, said:

“From these results, it seems that the mobile phone doesn’t just remember telephone numbers, but also harbours a history of our personal and physical contacts such as other people, soil, etc.”

Don't be too alarmed: most of this stuff is basically benign, aside from viruses and things like that. Still, the Huffington Post reports that:

Apparently, mobile phones can carry nearly 500 times more bacteria than a toilet seatand 18 times more than a public toilet handle. Plus, 1 in 6 phones have traces of E. coli bacteria from fecal matter.


Photo: Exploring The Invisible