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seawater can contain

Alma Heikkilä_DSC_8654.jpg

Title: seawater can contain

Year: 2021

Materials: ink, plaster, polymer epoxy, Bergen Kunsthall



They often live in colonial aggregates that can take on a multitude of forms.


Algae is an informal term for a large and diverse group of photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms. No definition of algae is generally accepted.  Although cyanobacteria are often referred to as "blue-green algae", most authorities exclude all prokaryotes from the definition of algae. 

The sea is a kind of body for life. I’m not in the sea, I’m in the museum, but the sea still holds me, enters my lungs, and can be poisonous. I’m unable to breathe in the water.

Some obtain energy via photosynthesis; I don’t. So, they absorb energy from light. Cyanobacteria are the first organisms known to have produced oxygen. They can also produce cyanotoxins. Cyanobacterial blooms pose a serious threat to aquatic environments and public health and are increasing in frequency and magnitude globally. 

Some are called primary producers; I’m not one of them. I have evolved alongside them, though. 

Prochlorococcus is possibly the most plentiful species on Earth: a single millilitre of surface seawater can contain 100,000 cells or more.

Seawater contains remarkable variability from unicellular and colonial to filamentous forms.

Direct sampling of the atmosphere has established that algae and cyanobacteria are a component of the naturally occurring aerial biota. 

So I breathe the historical air that the first cyanobacteria made. I breathe the air at this moment. Are some of it made by cyanobacteria? Also, I might just breathe the actual cyanobacteria into my lungs. 

Compared with other organisms, algae and cyanobacteria may comprise a largely ignored group of microorganisms in indoor environments.

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