Raphael Kim’s Rotifer Farm- 06.20.12
Love this project from Raphael Kim, a fellow former biologist, Kim’s project is not only a beautiful piece to look at, but also biologically fascinating! His Rotifer Farm is all about interactions between microbial communities and people. As Kim points out, we have few conscious interactions with this incredible diversity of creatures (the only time we even notice them is usually when you come down with a stomach bug!).
Rotifer Farm is a home designed to explore interactions between humans and this microscopic world of rotifers. Rotifers are a group of considerable scientific interest on account of their incredible hardiness as well as fascinating locomotion (via coronal cilia), parthenogenetic reproduction. However, they’re not a group we consciously interact with much outside of the lab. Kim’s Rotifer Farm takes the microbial communities outside of the lab creating an intermediate space between the world of research labs and our everyday lives, creating a more tangible experience.
The farm is organized in a number of different circuits with different developmental stages (including those pretty pink eggs) and comes with pipettes for moving your little rotifer friends from one section to the next. Raphael even went to spend a few months with a rotifer specialist in Okinawa, where he obtained some of these incredible images and videos of rotifers feeding and glowing.