The Biological Unseen: Producing And Mediating Imaginaries Of Protocells

This paper engages with issues of the bio-image body, identifying the mechanisms by which the microscopic is understood and interacted with by a range of audi- ences. We are interested in how images are used to mediate with the biological unseen, and how the pro- cess can be used to perturb and shift imaginaries of use and transformation of matter, living or otherwise. We take a research through design approach and build the argument using two interventions made in the context of Living Ashes, a project developed by the authors and that explores semi-living matter through protocells. The first intervention produces recorded moving image of protocells, using intercutting to connect events across scales. The second intervention prompts discussion on issues of agency in generating image with/of nonhumans.