Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Algae That Scape The Sky: Chengdu, China. There wasn't  much microgeography at street level, but when I found a building high enough to be able me to look down on other skyscrapers I found it!. A community of algae on the roof of a skyscraper that seems to thrive,  particularly in areas of water run off.
Great Wall Lichens:The Great Wall at Mutianyu, Beijing,  China. The wall was first built during the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 557) and then later rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Dry and irradiated by harsh sunlight, for the most part it appears to be inimical to life.  During a persistent search however, I find a number of small shaded microclimates in which communities of lichens thrive. It's tempting to believe that, these are as old as the Great Wall itself.    

Sunday, 17 June 2012

ProkaryPosters: In pursuit of its aims and conveying their message, microgeographers should not shy away from controversy and risk taking.  ProkaryPosters are a novel way of conveying microgeography's message. The print on these posters  is made entirely from living and pigmented bacteria. The posters offer great benefits over traditionally printed posters in that the print is entirely natural, biodegradable, and endlessly renewable. Further to this, the use of living biological agents adds a certain frission to the message and means that the posters cannot be simply removed in that removal requires a specialist biohazard removal team!
The ink. Not a conventional printing ink, but the red pigmented
bacterium Serratia marcescens

The loaded roller

A finished poster. Appropriately labelled
Ecocidal Graffiti:  Urban microbial ecologies are easily overlooked. Microgeography is not afraid to partially and temporarily destroy such ecologies if it results in their revelation, and if in the process, city dwellers are jolted  off their predictable macroscopic paths. Ecocidal  Graffiti is a novel microgeographical technique which differentially destroys parts of microbial communities in situ so that images, glyphs or text are created within them and as a result,  the ecologies themselves become highlighted by their own absence. The initial application is invisible but as the treated parts die, the images or text mysteriously appear over a period of 1-5 days. These are tests for the process which clearly show its efficacy. Please comment should you be interested in joining me on a national campaign of Ecocidal Graffiti. 









Saturday, 16 June 2012

Chinese Microgeography I: China’s smog-filled cities harbour a less diverse microgeography than I am used to. However, amidst the pollution it’s still there, just a little harder to find.    

Built between 1406 and 1420, and located in the middle of the Beijing, The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty.  

In a neglected corner of the palace, surrounded by peeling gold paint, and probably never remarked upon before, or even noticed, a colony of golden lichen grows as if camouflaged amidst the fading splendour. 

Friday, 1 June 2012

The Exemplary Life of Soil: Extraordinary bacterial  lifeforms emerge from samples of garden soil