Monday Micro: Glowing squid to appear in Auckland!

By Siouxsie Wiles 04/11/2013 2


Who wouldn't want to see a load of 3D printed squid filled with glowing bacteria?!
Who wouldn’t want to see a load of 3D printed squid filled with glowing bacteria?!

For three nights this week (Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th November), Auckland’s Western Park will be transformed into a place of wonder and delight as the annual Art in the Dark festival takes place. This year over 40 artists will light up this gem of park, just off Ponsonby Road.

After seeing my animation about the Hawaiian bobtail squid and its bioluminescent invisibility cloak*, artist Rebecca Klee got in touch and asked if I’d like to collaborate with her on a piece for this year’s festival. I jumped at the chance and so we have spent the last few months bringing our ideas for our Living Light piece to life. We’ve been blogging about the collaboration here. In the process I’ve fallen in love with our 3D printed squid (so beautifully designed and made for us by Danny Dillon of Vivenda) and learned the best conditions for making the bacteria glow brightly.

It’s so exciting that showtime is finally here. Now I just hope that the bacteria glow when we need them to. One of the disadvantages of working with a living organism!

A big thanks to the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery and the Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences at the University of Auckland for funding this project, and to all the members of the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab (with a special shout out to Benedict and Jimmy) for preparing media and generally being very tolerant of me being involved in yet another project!

*I’ve written about this amazing wee beastie and it’s glowing bacterial buddy before here or you can just watch the animation that inspired Rebecca:


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