The Textiles and Materiality Cluster at Milieux announces the winners of its recent round of student research grants: Alexandra Bachmayer (BFA student) and Vanessa Mardirossian (PhD INDI student) with collaborators WhiteFeather Hunter (research affiliate) and Geneviève Moisan (research affiliate).
The collaborative research-creation project, which received a Seed Grant, is entitled, The Bactinctorium. “This project project aims to research and experiment with growing pigments using different bacteria… This innovative technique is at the forefront of research, and currently only used by a handful of researchers and artists globally. Growing bacteria in order to dye or print on fabrics opens up new avenues for chemical-free textile dyeing.
These new techniques would also enable textiles—at the end of their lifespan—to become nutrients again and return safely to the ecosystem after use. This integrates and reinforces the principle that waste equals food (McDonough & Braungart, 2013). The team plans to experiment with diverse bacteria in the Speculative Life BioLab and find new ways of incorporating bacteria dyeing into textile design.
This knowledge is meant to be shared broadly considering the strong interest in finding alternatives to synthetic pigments. Bacterial pigments, due to their better biodegradability and higher compatibility with the environment, offer promising avenues for various applications (Kulandaisamy Venil, Zakaria & Ahmad, 2013).”