Biodeterioration and Bioremediation are the concerns which are addressed with the perspective comprehending the relation between the ecology of micro organisms on the surfaces and the radiation, to which they are exposed – ‘material and their environment’.

Bacteria serve well as models here. Next to the transformation of light into matter needed for our survival on Earth, bacteria are responsible for the pigment formation: As living pigments they are hence responsible for the perceivable diversity of our world.

The micro organisms produce in their metabolic processes pigments as waste products and thus a new artistic-aesthetic experience. Apart of the soft-focus impact of the affected surface the specific aesthetic appeal of this emerging ‘natural’ – and the case of Sabine Kacunko’s bacterial art, also an ‘artistic’ – patina which lies above all in its own color. The subjective ‘nature of color’ receives however through the artistic intervention of its objective resource-technical grounding’, the molecular processes responsible for pigmentation by putting the bearer at the centre of attention.


Particularly interesting with regard to Sabine Kacunko’s bacterial art is the ‘ambivalent’ function of melanin, whose impact still doesn’t seem to be understood despite intensive experimental research.

Melanin as a black pigment is responsible for cold changes on the surface. In other words, they are responsible for the ‘patinization’ of mineral substrates, but their impact has a protective as well as a destructive force. The ‘ambivalence’ of melanin as a (protective, un-reactive) stable radical, lies in its light sensitivity, because under the influence of light, sulfurous pheomelanins can create free (destructive, reactive) radicals.