I am studying my surroundings with yeast images. The technique has thought me a lot of humility towards nature, specially yeasts and other small creatures. Yeasts are everywhere and we need them as much as oxygen or other vital ingredients like proteins or sugars. Yeast is probably the first domesticated living creature by human. Or was it other way around as Yuval Noah Harari says in his book Homo Sapiens. Where he states that wheat domesticated human/homo sapiens.
My territory in small scale consists two humans, dog and several house plants. We have a balcony which is my main research area and where the yeastograms mainly live in plastic boxes. I have started to grow different habitats for yeast images. One test environment is a forest in an aquarium, which is in the picture above. These are also study areas for yeast images in different habitats. They are now on test stage and maybe will be shown in exhibitions in 2019.
The Baltic sea is very close you can see the sea also some forest areas which are tiny but kind of wildest nature that you can get in this area. These forest areas has lot of old fisherman´s cottages and their trash. I have collected some of the waste and I will use it as the habitats for the yeast images.
I have lived with yeast images quite long, I started in 2014 and now I have had yeastograms on my balcony all the time from 2016. So it has been three years already with the images. First I thought that I have lot of power over the images, that the microbes from me would affect the plates. They have prove that stronger influence is in the plates and in the yeast itself. The lack of power over the images makes me humble towards my surroundings. Bigger problems can be solved with the attitude that we can learn from the nature/our surroundings how to live and be humble towards what we have outside and around us. There are no too small areas of nature to start the exploration with. Just find a corner close to you, it should be somewhere that is convenient to individual needs. No patch of nature is too small. We are living in a finite planet and it is the time to act like it is.
We live in the era of ecological catastrophe, sixth extinction. We are losing enormous amount of species around us. Bigger mammals are already gone. The microbes that we are losing are gone before we even meet them. Sad I would say. But there is still some hope. We are the last generation to change the course. We should think big and really do big changes. But how? And what?
Humans are different from other animals because only people are able to create networks based on communication between several people that they have not even met. For example, the value of money or religions. These man-made powers are always accompanied by big stories, as the various religions have told thousands of years. Yuval Noah Harari says in the book Homo Deus:
Sapiens dominate the world because they are only ones able to make a network of intersubjective meanings: the laws, phenomena and sites that exist only in their collective imagination.
When I am concentrated on doing my yeast images, I feel excited and I am happy doing the work that means a lot to me. In the same time I feel that I should be doing something that matter more to the situation that we are in as mankind. I have felt that I do not have that much power over what is going to grow out of my plates. The other species are strong and tougher than us human. We as mankind suffer immediately when we wont get some vital ingredients, like water. Other species just goes to ectothermic state or similar. Like lichens just go dry and they survive long without water, then when they get water, they bloom again.
My study of my surroundings is also trying to understand what I could do to change the way we consume this planet. Bigger issue is understanding yeast from it´s point of view. Also trying to find ways to resolve the big problems and way of living that is destroying the planet for us. I am quite sure that the planet is going to survive or at least some smaller creatures.