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"Shared Space: Seasonal color shift of species succession" by Jenifer Wightman

Monday, October 31, 2022 at 8:00am to 5:00pm

Mann Library, 1st and 2nd floors
Cornell University Mann Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

A new exhibit at Mann Library presents a bioart installation by artist and life scientist Jenifer Wightman. In conjunction with a retrospective eighteen years of Wightman’s work, two living paintings created with mud collected from Beebe Lake are undergoing a remarkable transformation, driven by the microbes that live within. Because bacteria photosynthesize pigment, as one species grows from individual to colony, it first becomes visible as pointillist color, spreading into horizontal blocks of transient hue. With the advancing activities of life—consuming, reproducing, releasing wastes—bacteria exhaust their habitat and create an altered landscape that succeeding species take over. Each successor shifts the color again, not unlike the transformation of seasons. Come visit the two-part installation on Mann’s first and second floors to see up close the basic progressions of life unfold in changing shapes and pigments.  This installation is appearing on the 1st and 2nd floors of Mann Library as part of the 2022 Cornell Biennial, For an example of Wightman’s work, please visit:


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Event Type

Exhibit, Exhibition


Cornell University Library, Mann Library, Cornell Council for the Arts


ArtsSci, art, environment, Cornell University Library, Mann Library, microbiology, soil, cca, cornell council for the arts

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Peggy Tully


Jenifer Wightman


Sep 15, 2022 4:30-6pm

Open To

Free and open to the public

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