I finally found the workshop today. When I arrived the room was full of young people learning from Lucas Czjzek of the Bioart Club pavillon_35 / Vienna Austria, how to solder together an LED to build the exposure unit that would be used to kill some of the yeast in the living yeastograms. The day I missed they had prepared potato dextrose agar pates with activated charcoal so the medium was black. We mixed up some baking yeastspread it in the petri dishes.
I was not terribly impressed with the guys hosting the workshop. They were friendly but the address on the website is wrong so I missed the first day of the workshop. Spent that walking around the wrong part of town by myself in the dark on a very cold day. Even with the correct address Google maps directs to the wrong building so I spent another hour alone in the dark in freezing rain this time searching around an abandoned factory with its enormous chimney stacks and passed the circus in the freezing rain for an hour before finding the very well hidden pixelache office. (finally an adventure!) When I did find it the door was behind a wall, there was no sign explaining to climb the stairs to another street level. When I figured that out and found the door it was locked. These guys are really not easy to find.
Technically I was not impressed with people’s understanding of biology or photography. This is the second workshop I’ve been to where we were asked to wear gloves without explaining that it is because they are clean and it’s to keep from contaminating the plates with the stuff in the room. People wearing gloves touched everything before working with the cultures. Sterile tek was not even discussed. (maybe it was in the class I missed) I don’t like going through these motions of sterility just for dramatic effect with out mentioning that its just a costume.
Despite the sloppy and wasteful technique, the process is amazing!! (Sterile technique outside a lab with 12 people is impossible anyway) I really hope mine works and that I can reproduce the process at home. It seemed very easy. The only thing I hadn’t done before was soldering LED’s which looked easy enough, but also a bit unnecessary. The exposure units were very stylish but tomorrow I’ll ask if I can just use any old LED light.
I met some interesting people. One woman is working on a video game for mushroom hunters! I’ve always wished this existed! She asked me to help her and we have a date to meet tomorrow at a candy shop! Also several friendly myco / bio / citizen science geeks were there. I hope tomorrow we get a chance to get to now each other a bit. They all seem like exciting peeps.