Stefan Schwabe

The Kernels of Chimaera

It is during these times that myth may become reality. The creation of composite beings no longer remains a chimerical matter of our ancient tales. As a result of modern scientific advances, the combining of different life forms has become routine.

Where might this lead us? Are we indeed able to extend our minds, not only into material culture, but also into living artefacts?

Using bacteria cellulose, “The Kernels of Chimaera” maintains the growth of a living material and performs an automated production of hybrid living artefacts. It harvests, applies human intention and reflects on a new way of manufacturing that encourages us to contemplate the notion of life and death of living entities.

Each day, the machine automatically harvests a layer of bacterial cellulose that has grown in one of the nine reactor jars. The cellulose is then picked up by a vacuum arm and placed within a small wooden clamp to be inflated by a syringe. Finally, once the inflated cellulose has dried, it is carried upwards by a flow of air and begins to levitate.

programme information projects
Flying Kernels. Flying Kernels.
Setup at the Show RCA 2012. Setup at the Show RCA 2012.
Flying Kernel, Detail. Flying Kernel, Detail.
Detail 01, Inflated Kernel. Detail 01, Inflated Kernel.
Detail 02, Harvesting the cellulose. Detail 02, Harvesting the cellulose.
Detail 03, Syringe and wooden clamp. Detail 03, Syringe and wooden clamp.
Mechanics and disk with reactor jars. Mechanics and disk with reactor jars.