The main concept behind this project is to create a connection between us and bioluminescent dinoflagellates; to increase human contact with and human understanding of this important species. Since these organisms are on such a small scale, it is hard for us to relate to these plankton, and to understand their roll in the environment. Bioluminescent dinoflagellates only produce light after photosynthesis from the day, and only when they are disturbed from movement in the water.
This project is a “dinner piece”, inviting two people to sit down and be able to see their heartbeats in relation to each other. An infrared emitter and detector are used to sense a person’s heart beat. Each pair is connected to a necklace, which would contain dinoflagellates and a vibration motor. Every time the sensor detects a heartbeat, the motor goes off and dinoflagellates would light up due to the vibrations.
This project is focusing both on the connections between us and the dinoflagellates but also using the organism to show another connection between two people. Inspired by Donna Haraway's The Companion Species Manifesto and Astrid Schrader's Responding to Pfiesteria piscicida (the Fish Killer), this project aimed to create a new, non-confusing relationship with one species of dinoflagellates.
Please Note: This is a prototype and the necklace would in no way harm the organism; they naturally produce light and the dinoflagellates are kept in culture and would be transferred to the necklace, if used. The vibrations from the motor are very small, resulting in only a faint glow; the strength of the vibration motor is minuscule in comparison to the strength of the waves and current in an ocean, river, stream, or even the tides of a lake.
[THIS NECKLACE / HEARTBEAT MONITOR IS A CONCEPT ONLY, CREATED TO RAISE OUR AWARENESS ABOUT THE MICROORGANISM DINOFLAGELLATE. DINOFLAGELLATES HAVE NOT BEEN USED IN THIS PROJECT AND HAVE NOT BEEN EXHAUSTED OR HARMED IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM. THESE NECKLACES WERE PRODUCED ONLY FOR THIS CONCEPT DESIGN AND PHOTOGRAPHS, THE NECKLACES ARE NOT FOR SALE. IN THE DARK PHOTOGRAPH, LED LIGHTS WERE USED TO MIMIC THE GLOW OF BIOLUMINESCENT DINOFLAGELLATES.]