The Institute of Microbiology represents the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic with its permanent exhibit ALGA OASIS at EXPO 2020 in Dubai.
The project called Alga Oasis artistically recreates a model of a photobioreactor for growing algae and ingeniously combines art and science.
A photobioreactor is a device that allows microorganisms to be grown in the presence of water, nutrients, air and light. Most often, it is algae that scientists at the Institute of Microbiology are researching and pointing out that many of the urgent requirements of life on our planet today can be addressed using algae. The Czech Republic is an important country in this respect, not only historically, but also today it is a venue for modern and highly prestigious research that maintains its competitiveness in global comparison.
Microscopic algae are a small factory for valuable substances for modern biotechnology. Many of today’s problems, such as the lack of quality food, can be solved with algae. So the idea of presenting this process to the public in an artistic form was born. The proposal fitted well with the concept of the Czech pavilion “Connecting minds, building the future”.
Alga Oasis is a freestanding object, made of circularly arranged glass tubes forming a dynamically shaped stylized palm radiating light. A liquid bubbles inside the glass tubes, with bubbles created there where the viewer moves. The object also responds to the viewer by changing the play of light.
The action inside the exhibit is explained by a light highlighted central strip with pictorial light illustrations, where in its circular ring panel it symbolically represents the course of photosynthesis and its importance for life, including the possible use of algal biotechnology.
The exhibit includes an educational website www.algaosis.com , which can be viewed on personal devices connected to the Internet after scanning a QR code. An introductory animation will guide you through the world of algae and photosynthesis, while another tab will explain the principles and introduce the project to you.
The author of Alga Oasis is multimedia artist Michal Kohút, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. His work combines approaches between artistic techniques and technologies from various disciplines. His work is characterized by dynamism combined with subtlety and attention to detail.
The Alga Oasis exhibit includes an animation explaining the world of algae and photosynthesis.
Time-lapse document of the Alga Oasis exhibit installation.