2022, Three short videos, each ±3 min, colour. In collaboration with Maria Boto.

Probably the most emblematic object of a bio lab, the Petri dish is a shallow transparent lidded dish that biologists use to hold a growth medium in which cells can be cultured. But what else can one do in this small, round container? The possibilities are endless.
In this collaborative research between Elias Heuninck (Formlab) and Maria Boto (Laboratorium), a selection of processes happening in a Petri dish are filmed and presented as capsules, testimonies of the experiments they carried out.

Faro (chemical process)

The Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction between two chemicals are among the few reactions that make it possible to observe development of complex patterns in time and space by naked eye. In Faro, a hypnotic dance of red and white shapes, reminiscent of ancient Japanese ink drawings, takes the viewer by surprise with its delicate yet obstinate patterns of repetition and change.


La Bahia (biological process)

A topography of mountains, ridges and valleys, rising from a colourful mold resembling an aerial view of a dramatic mountain range. A slow panoramic of an imaginary world, where white dots bloom into fluffy puffs.
In La Bahia, a photograph of a lab-grown mold is used to trace a height map, which is then 3d printed and re-injected with the mold’s spores, closing the circle.




Salitre (physical process)

Playing with the optical property of different compounds under double polarised light, Salitre shows the beauty of growing birefringent crystals. Their refractive index depends on the polarization and propagating direction of light, allowing for mesmerising visual experiences. As the solution evaporates, the crystals appear with bright colours, revealing growth patterns and structures.





The videos have been shown at
Flanders.bio, Ghent, May 2022, 'Knowledge for growth' conference
School of Arts, Ghent, September - October 2019 - exhibition 'Seeing together'

Text by Camilla Colombo