The following document comprises an electronic version of journals discovered in a floating lab, thought to belong to a team of microbiologists working in the late years of this century. What follows is a compilation of entries dating back as early as the 1700s, suggesting the bacterial research which has defined science and medicine in recent years had in fact taken seed in prior, unrecognised histories. Entries were signed only with initials or symbols and thus we have struggled to assign authorship, human or otherwise. The recurrence of ‘AL’ and ‘MS’ across time-spanning entries suggests these figures played an editorial role, and so the identities of actual scientists, writers or involved parties remains unknown. For copyright purposes associated with an ongoing legal investigation into the lab, we are unable to reproduce facsimiles of handwriting; however, we have presented the strange, luminous illustrations which accompanied the journal entries, in the hope that someone comes forward with further answers on the nature, meaning and origin of this mysterious investigation. It is believed the entries were intended as an A-Z glossary, however several alphabetical letters were missing, and all accompanying ‘emotive pictographs’ have been elided due to unicode incompatibility with contemporary software.
— 18th February 2100
Anaplasma: 2038. M.S
Speciality cellular, cerise passage to holist. Reside red blood, imminence of anaplasmosis, transfer through ixodid tick vectors. Geometries of fever intensify ache and chill in sufferers, often mistaken for other diseases. Ruminant blame. Happened upon mass effect 2027, profusion of nucleated tick species; emergent effects in laboratories found potential for sequencing and strengthening fitness. Special malaise as symptom for deeper trial and fieldwork, thermal anamnesis of matter and green; tick-proof gauzes of flexible size recommended. Most prevalence occurs in season once known as summer, approx. late April-August in western regions though subject to monsoon interference in all coastal locations. Ticks may survive water but not alcohol — treatments include burning the wound and whisky at a pinch (see recent regulations for public consumption). Moderate to good in general studies. Hemorrhage may occur in extreme cases of infection in addition to cognitive disarray; patterns of social study around 2027 identify glitches in attendance and political decision-making which may map onto anaplasmic strains of epidemiological statistic. Commonly known as disease in confusion bias.
B.infantia - 2065. A.L
Various clinical outcomes are being examined under the possibility of the irreversible extinction of this bifidobacterium. Anti-colonic permeability medications are forbidden during the study, since these would stain the results. We haven’t found enough adequate candidates for this study, because we fear that more than half of the population’s guts are already leaking and thus non-resealable. Toxins are beginning to slip under the gut crevasses and they will soon start to contaminate the bloodstream. These new fluid streams are attracting the attention of nostalgic limnologists who deliriously seek solutions to restore the now extinct ice streams. The results are confusing and mixed for the moment. Working on extending the life of b.infantis.
Cyanobacteria- unknown A.L
Ancient green-blue jewel, the one-cell organism that once released free oxygen molecules in the atmosphere, changing its chemistry components.
We observed the delicate layers of this bacteria on stromatolites: strange rock formations easily spotted at low tide. Every layer a different thickness, different pigmentation, different pattern, like the rings of a tree, we recognise changes in the water chemistry, moments when light and food were scarce.
Cyanobacteria seek sun during the day and nutrients in the depth of aquatic environments during the night, gliding up and gliding down since they lack of other type of motility.
In excess these bacteria cause a toxic soup, a green bloom, a biological toxic spill. Green blooms are now occurring often, causing aquaphobia in many children, who don’t recall seeing the ocean’s original colour. Life giving and Life taking.
Deinococcus radiodurans - 1956. A.L
Carries multiple copies of its own polymers, allowing for emergency repairs in case of DNA damaging agent exposure. Potentially unable to identify the original copy. Mesophile, exact ‘natural’ habitat very difficult to define, mostly thriving in unbearable hot environments, often in soil. Observing very unusual eremitic behaviour, no proof of communication with any other natural elements, never in clusters. Undisturbed sampling is proving difficult since the microbe’s behaviour appears to shift and retreat when in contact with animate beings, considering remote sensing. Shaped like a strange berry. First possible candidate to preserve human data for coming generations, inmortal.
* Note: Polyextremophile identified as node in developmental chains of post-nuclear reactive facility. Drones collected from three different radiation sites across the Earth in mid-21st C and subsequent studies reveal true radius durare; sequencing was established in 2001 and refreshed in 2065 for use in ultra violet medical sterilisation, with varying success. Recent uses have been noted in the cryogenics industry but no data is available from private research bodies. Early speculation that D. radiodurans derives from Martian origin was fully debunked in Californian labs thirty years ago, but tests are being done to identify possible extraterrestrial commonality with new strains of space cells, such as
E709123h and 1903HJLMii29.0. (M.S 2097)
Gnotobiosis: 1781/ 1999. M.S
In multitudinous waters, cadence of watered Silks as epiphenomena. Polisht as optick in proximity’s View, sequential the concept’s exemplification. Known life as the vessel itself, no Carriage as such by ordinary standard. Inside lies Nothing. The organism is as such and Nothing more. These metaphysical silhouettes exist solely as selves, often a result of experimental work involving sterilisation and birth Control. Aseptic condition is followed closely at present to isolate symbiotic relationships between Animal and one or more microorganisms within its Body. Previous research found Clusterings of microbiota would smokescreen singular interactions of Interest. Associated side-effects include lower cardiac output and thinness of the Intestines. Missives on such peril often Concealed in mid-modern archives. Stepwise fashion post-birth may reintroduce economies of microflora, encouraging Growth as in Child probiotics. Cordoned lagoons in the South Atlantic are being isolated for gnotobiotic Study, with prospect towards Transferring research towards superorganisms under caesarian parturition. See: articles on floating Island research centres of the South Atlantic, with additional interest in synthetic composition of temporary geographies.
Geobacter- 2011. A.L
They were ready to be dispersed with the breaking of the wave on high tide, Pilis holding tight. A single spray would be enough. On this occasion there was an anomaly in the wave’s kinetic energy and they were dispersed further than expected into a completely unknown territory: our territory, the depths of the subsoil.
Some of us knew this would happen, we notice a shift in our quorum, billions of emergency signals overlapping each other into a chaotic chemical cacophony. And then a sudden explosion. Quiet. Too dark for marine species in our thriving asphyxiating environment. Signal, too poor, neither the AM or FM are in use. No oxygen, just an unusual density of uranium, caesium and technetium. Panic electromagnetic imprints are quickly interchanged, seeking horizontal gene transfer or indeed simple empathy.
After years of observing us, the opportunistic Other will soon gain life recognition when discovering that we feed on and dissolve their chemical glitches.
* This was transcribed from unusual radio waves emitted by bacteria when a tsunami disabled the power supply of Fukushima Daiichi reactors.
Hologenome- 1999. A.L
Too many corrupted, embarrassing, heretic theories. To think that bacteria are a form of unwelcome contamination or intrusion is to live in great obsolescence. Humans and nonhumans are irremediably fused to microbes as a single entity. This fusion is an ally of evolution. Looking at 2-billion-year old fossils through the microscope, traces of symbiotic mutation can be found, millions of microorganisms lie in a static slime, a motile fossil. Random mutation? Very unlikely, a translucent colourless worm could never acquire photosynthetic skills and a fluorescent color green by just random mutation, instead, the worm and the algae coexist in a hologenome.
Ideonella sakaiensis- 2021. M.S
Beatific enzyme production, metabolise plastic via primary reaction. New species developed early 21st C. and harnessed in bioremediation strategies funded by mutual governments and interested companies. Shares were distributed between consumer brands to fund research and new laws passed to ensure every heavy plastic producer maintained investment in waste processing, specifically through ‘packages’ of ideonella sakaiensis purchase. PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is converted into benign monomers, terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol. The popularity of such developments led to mass bio-farms and accompanying tourist industries around the observation of innovative, ‘live action’ recycling. Photography banned at such locations. Through aqueous phase of transformation, the exact binding mechanism remains subject to patent and is redacted from public journals. Science congresses are still debating the viability of forging international law to widen the availability of ideonella sakaiensis distribution to areas of high social deprivation and plastic accumulation. Further studies of tropics and anthropological attention to coastal regions would prove beneficial in formulating the existential future of plastics, as well as legally enshrining bacterial solutions across borders.
Microbial loop - 2032. M.S
During late-anthropocene studies of aquatic community, they let slip the word pathway upon powerpoint; we found students were less attentive without graphics, watching the spirals doodle themselves. Image or diagram seemed obscene in such context of loss. The event occurred post-discovery so we hired them on mass for thalassic expedition, divers with adolescent lungs and red-blooded energy. Prior checks were established vis a vis z-ray microbiome analysis. Writings: a trophic pathway within the marine web, special dissolutions of organic carbon (DOC) are returned to higher trophic levels via absorption in biomass, in addition to merging with the classic food chain. Students asked for distinction between special and classic. This was less known after the soft extinction and wavelengths were drawn to measure the turnover of biota. Carbon starvation necessitated evolution of oligotrophic species capable of 90% primary production and yet protozoa everywhere still with high intrinsic growth rates; we pinned hope on deep-oceanic, purple passages. This colour is thought to result from algaeic (protist) fusion among floating urchins, responsible for kelp bed erasure. More observation needed. Criticality of zooplankton confirmed prior to experiment; experts record increases in violaceous silence.
Pathogenic soup - 2016. M.S
Ancient splendour in currency, more lossy sublime beneath sea. Photographic distribution of barren reefs proves insufficient capture of algal cloud in malady. Warmth as agential spread, hostilities of light, affliction to whole community. Obvious culprits supplanted by distributed causality and hormonal imbalance more generally. Corals once harvested for jewels now dead, what is it to say dead, often hosts cannot process, sickness from one to the other in symbiont asynchrony. Bleached occurrence speaks to inflammatory reaction, ill-fitting tissue. Salt-licked ornament poses the question. Malnourished coralligenous occurrence adding, design picks up nostalgia for gnarl of ecosystem, fashion for outside-in. Accumulative speech extinctions, tide susurration measured at sub-Pacific levels. Acts of antithesis cluster realities. Dysbiosis poems fatten around the news.
Spirillum volutans — ????
Of freshwater habitat we swim as helical o polar flagellar fascicles not
motility acquire rote rotation else cells goblet opened away from the end of
Slight flagellar bipolar formation media aerotolerant thought sequential
oxygen level 12% excess mutant noospheric aft and vice finally obtained
Colony bundles wave of helice corkscrews opened to back high bell and wave
straight test of reciprocal shake fore propel found in lakes
minimum oscillation for sleep flash away electron micrographic
exposures:: sinusoidal wave wild types cells for miles tungsten
videotape swims of distances most of us strain in reverse like
literature cited velocity just is a dark field of screen calibration less than wave
chemotrophic We just spread translocate the pink spiruline proteo air
sans nitrate unusual peptone inhibit gelatine lack catalase
all of a granule voluminous inside us the extra inside coccoid shape and cyst
*Graphologists studying this writing could not identify the nature of its ink. Under microscopes it revealed a viscous, lime-coloured consistency divergent from typical substance and more akin to a plasma. Further tests are required.
Transplantation - 2025. M.S
I had tried honey and lemon; I had tried steamed garlic and chicory, raw dandelion greens shredded by my children; I juiced leeks and drank their pale green sap, I had bitten upon asparagus till my piss stank like the sludge of your garden, I had squeezed bananas between tongue and teeth and devoured hot beans and soups of miso. You were no fan of my choices, you assured me with bottles of clinking pills and fermented soy wine, jars of kimchi to harden our silence broken only by the growls of my belly. For a while I was entirely alkaline. My silence became glass and you would not touch me, I would not touch back. They became monsters not critters and I was sorry for not treating them well, for the lager and smoke of yesteryear. I could not stay with my critters, you said, that was the trouble. Doctors have been talking in the glossies of roughage and fruits, gum arabic sauerkraut sour solutions. They said of my gut, you must keep it happy. I wanted my belly to glow emoji yellow with hearts for eyes, I wanted nothing less from each of my 40 trillion bacteria, I wanted the gorgeous satiation of a single hormone. I took a pill and nothing happened so I took it again. You suggested quite softly bacteriotherapy, you whispered it inside my sleep and I woke in revelation, soon booked the appointment. I dreamed of a hookworm crawling in through my ear, sinewing up my spine. I followed my coffee with fennel. You were unsuitable due to a history of drug use, which you admitted with a certain smile that meant light and hard times inaccessible to me. The procedure was simple, you waited outside, there was a tube and a careful colonic withdrawal. I was imbibing the literal shit of my mother! She saw the humour in it and gloated about the success of her diet. I was all enema and smooth as liquid; I sailed through the days, IV in my veins. All was remainder, then wholesomely my children arrived, laughing in the hospital, with their baby hot chocolates and tongues of peanut butter, their sunshine intimations of future.
Wolbachia- 2031. M.S
The description of several kinds of cells occurs here. Natural inquiries require such process as special considerations to follow the nature of cells and hosts, that they may reproduce in complex formations and often in ritualistic rather than parasitic interactions. It is thought some species may not even survive without the colonisation of Wolbachia. Many instances of this gram-negative bacteria are found in arthropod, nematode and significant numbers of neotropical insect species. It is useful to scale potential Hosts for further study. Special research was conducted upon laboratory Wolbachia in the second half of the previous decade, with subsequent analysis predicated on the possibility of Wolbachia’s use as a biocontrol agent. A more particular explication of this last potential has been carried out in the North with ambivalent success. Significant to the species, aside from its ubiquitous manifestations, is the sexual differentiation of hosts dependent on their presence. Strains of Wolbachia can in fact distort the ration of Host’s sexual selection, often with feminisation effects again dependent on Wolbachia’s presence. Of the particular advantages of frequent lateral transfer, trials are conducted often through mosquito secretions. Some cultures have found Wolbachia to be of rich semiotic value in scientific representations of non-normative intimacies across genders and species. See: trans, tranimal. Features of constructive interest include possibility of surviving mass extinction.
A+E Collective was formed in 2017 as a response to a sense of unease in the face of impending ecological disaster. Working from a shared commitment to art as a tool for communication and force for change, A+E’s aim is to produce alternative forms of action within the spheres of art, academia and public discourse–to look beyond existing representations of climate change in the media and forge a more playful account of everyday life and cultural experience within the Anthropocene. A+E current members are Finn Arschavir + Marie Leguedois + Ane Lopez + Maria Sledmere + Lucy Watkins.