14.    Photo Microbial Fuel Cell

Photo Microbial Fuel Cell is the result of an investigation initiated in August 2020 as part of an artistic residency focused on “Non-human intelligences” at the Centre for Creative Solutions in Lovinac, Croatia.

The investigation began with the challenge of developing a permanent and sustainable installation, without a stable source of electricity, nor access to the internet.

The appropriation of electricity on behalf of nature as a means to enhance its network was the initial speculation, very much inspired on our own relation as a species through the reds of the internet. Internet as a garden, overflowing with life, wild and overgrown.

2020: Artistic Residency: Centre for Creative Solutions, Lovinac, CR, 2020
2021: Artistic Residency: With Akyute, Contorno Urbano, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, ES, 2021

My investigation later evolved towards the relationship between nature and electricity, and therefore exploring the use of photosynthesis as a source of electrical energy.

Plants, algae and cyanobacteria, known as photoautotrophs, are the only organisms capable of realizing photosynthesis, a process in which they are able to synthesize their own nutrients through the generation of carbohydrates and oxygen from carbon dioxide, water and light energy.

These carbohydrate molecules contain covalent bonds that store energy. Part of this organic matter is utilized for the plant's growth, whilst 70% is discarded in the rhizosphere layer of the soil. Here, active microorganisms surround the plant's roots and break down these bonds as part of their own metabolism, liberating electrons in the process.

By capturing these electrons, we create a photo microbial fuel cell (P-MFC), a device that converts light into electrical energy. By closing the circuit using electrode extensions we create a path allowing the current to flow into a LED diode, creating a self sufficient, living source of electricity.

Read more here.

Images by Mariona Calathea

 FILE 23764—39/23DBE

Magdalena Hart, 1994
Akyute Collective, 2019
Rain_and_rivers_, 2023


Based in Barcelona, ES