CFU (Colony Forming Unit)

International invited Art competition, 2010 (proposal)
Bergen, Norway

Recycled PET, LEDs, stainless steel, floats

Presentation: 3dworks, Markus Gröteke


A glowing red biomorphic structure spreads itself across the surface of the water. Its origins are mysterious – the shape generates a multifaceted web of associations, recalling memories of cyclical processes, coral reefs, living colony's, water lilies – but in the end it evades definition.

Additionally, the luminous red coral-like illusion appears out of place in these Northern realms - similar shapes are usually found in tropical waters. Due to global warming are we now to expect budding coral reefs in Norway , will Bergen get its own Florida Keys?

The beauty of this delicate colony, apparently in need of protection is deceptive - its outer shell is made of PET – this material, which is increasingly polluting the seas, due to its non-degradable composition poses a threat to the oceans fragile ecological systems.

The global rate of recycling lies below a few percent. Instead unbelievable amounts of throw away products end up in the ocean. The ocean preservation organisation "Oceana" estimates that world wide about 300 tons of plastic rubbish is thrown directly into the ocean every hour. This leads to the formation of huge floating garbage patches weighing several million tons.

"CFU" posses the surreal question of how would it be if the plastic pollutants in the oceans transformed themselves into organic structures, becoming an active part of evolution excessively multiply its own mutations.

Even though this type of morphogenesis is for now pure fantasy the mutations of the contemporary world represent a type of reality which encompasses us on a daily basis.