Although Marcus DeSieno told Wired that growing up he “was absolutely terrified of germs,” you wouldn’t know it from the photographer’s most recent series, Cosmos.
DeSieno examines the chaotic world of microorganisms by collecting swabs of bacteria from objects and people he comes across in his daily life, then swiping the samples onto agar-covered slide film of Hubble Telescope images. After a “few days in the car trunk or under the sink,” the bacteria begins colonising on the film and distorting the original picture, creating a colorful, surreal and surprisingly gorgeous new image of the Universe.
The photographer says he currently has bacteria colonizing on over 500 strips of film: “It smells horrible. But you have to make sacrifices for your art I guess.”