Yeast are single cell organisms that are probably one of the earliest domesticated organisms in terms of human technology. The yeast species Saccharomyces Cerevisiae has been used in baking and fermenting alcoholic beverages for thousands of years. It is also extremely important as a model organism in modern cell biology research, and is the most thoroughly researched eukaryotic microorganism. Researchers have used it to gather information into the biology of the eukaryotic cell and ultimately human biology.
The goal of this workshop is for participants to cultivate samples of yeast from their local environment – to grow these samples over a few days at home – allowing participants to see for themselves organisms that are usually not visible to the naked eye. This lab serves to remind us that our civic environment is a complex ecology teeming with life in many forms.
Participants will receive a brief introduction to contemporary BioART practices, and information on yeast. They will lean how to make Potato Dextrose Agar (the medium required for cultivating yeast) with ingredients purchased from grocery stores; How to swab yeast samples from their surroundings; and sterile technique. They will receive a brief introduction to biosafety – and finally create their own bioart project growing yeast in concert with other materials.
This lab is rated BSL1 no known harm to humans, in other words a kitchen grade experiment appropriate for audiences of a variety of ages.
Video Documentation of the WAAG Amsterdam Yeast Workshop in June 2013 by Zoot Derks and Jeanette Groenendaal.
Amsterdam Yeast Workshop Results, WAAG Society, 2013.