#39: Yeast upon a time (with Johanna Rotko)

It looks like a square, monochromatic, glass slide photo, and not only because of the material it is made of, but also because it could belong to a different time. It feels as if the face that emerges from there and gazes at you must have posed for a very long time for the exposure to do its job. Only if you could stare at it uninterruptedly for days, or years, would you be able to notice that the image is in constant change. It is alive. It comes from nowhere, and disappears into what comes next. It is called yeastogram.

Yeastograms are living images made of yeast cultures growing on agar plates and carved with UV light. One of the people who have mastered this technique is Johanna Rotko, a visual artist based in Lahti, Finland. Yeastograms are a lot about fine-tuning the technology. But it goes beyond that. It is also about bringing the imagery of deceased people back to life, waiting for the uncontrollable to do its job, killing and letting live. In other words, it is about time. It is about patience.

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