Public Domain Estaury, Xandra van der Eijk

Do It Together Bio: Extracting pigments from algae

Estuaries, where fresh water of the river blends and mingles with the salt water of the sea, are extraordinary locations. The tension between the sweet and salt results in a diversity of plants and animals in the estuary. Interruptions of the composition by for example human population on the estuary banks, may lead to the death of, but also blooming of certain types of organisms. This disintegration and bloom can result in beautiful coloration.

During this workshop you will discover what kind of pigments are secluded in algae and how they can be isolated. Subsequently, you will be shown and taught some applications for the extracted pigments, like how to make your own bio-ink or how you can use them to dye textiles. The method used here is applicable to a variety of organic matter, which means you can use your newly gained knowledge for a diversity of substances provided by mother nature.

This workshop is given by Xandra van der Eijk and Roland van Dierendonck. RSVP via our Meetup page.

Xandra van der Eijk is a bio-artist who explores the world of materials and colours secluded in nature. The tension between salt and sweet and the intervention of man is what inspired bio artistic researcher Xandra van der Eijk for her bio installation 'Estuary'. In this installation ‘Estuary’ salt-water algae and other microbes slowly reveal their presence in a fascinating visual process of shifting colour from pink, orange and purple to green, yellow and even black.

For her artistic research projects Xandra makes use of Waag Society’s Wetlab. Thanks to the knowledge and help of various regular visitors of the Wetlab, Xandra is able to understand (micro)biological processes and investigate her ideas. During the workshop Xandra will show and tell you about her work on the bio-installation Estuary. Read more about Xandra and the Wetlab here.

Roland van Dierendonck is a biologist, media artist and regular visitor of the Wetlab. Recently Roland collaborated with Günter Seyfried on a bioart project wherein a picture was coded into DNA followed by modification of the picture using the Crispr DNA cutting technology.

Do-It-Together Bio is a series of workshops with a biology-related topic in which artists and scientists are involved.

Image credits: Estuary, Xandra van der Eijk.