Quasimire is a device that combines new developments in computer technology, mathematics and machine learning in order to enable researchers to interact with bacteria, the better to understand the population dynamics of these little ecosystems. This apparatus was created for research purposes but can be applied to artistic mediation and creation. Indeed, Quasimire interacts with bacteria via their photosensitivity; it “perturbs them with light, doing so in relatively short bursts, and this allows us to conceive numerous works issuing both from art and science.
“With Quasimire, our aim is to create a hybrid between machines and microbes, because each ‘learns’ from the other. The implementation of machine learning algorithms and adaptation enable the machine to memorise and learn interaction. The ecosystems, for their part, respond to external constraints, going so far as to anticipate changes, at the levels of both the individual and the population – the philosophical and physical limit between individual and collective is not minor. The tool that we have developed serves to gather data for individuals and small populations, with an element of dynamic perturbation, and thus offers a perfect playground for experimenting with this spectrum of evolution.”
My objective at Le Fresnoy is to open up my project to the general public, and thus to share as widely as possible the beauty hidden in this microcosm that surrounds us, but also composes us, to a degree of which we previously had absolutely no idea. The answers to the many challenges of tomorrow’s world are bound up with our interaction with the microscopic world. From finance to politics, and including urbanism, there are many lessons to be learned, not to mention the possibilities they offer for a green industry that respects the environment. More and more, we try to sterilise our innards. Medicine has already shown the interest of microbiota, and that their absence or imbalance maybe the cause of serious illness. Rather than consider bacteria as an enemy to be cleaned out, it is perhaps time that we got to know them better.