Slime Moulds - Heather Barnett
0 comment Saturday, May 24, 2014 |
Last week, the artist Heather Barnett came to Central St Martins to talk about her work with slime moulds.We were introduced to her work and taught how to look after our own Slime Mould pets.Unfortunately, my slime mould pet died instantly after an incident on the central line, which was a real shame as I was looking forward to nurturing it.
Potentially, I could have nurtured my slime mould to grow and survive for months, feeding it carbohydrates and keeping it in a dark, damp environment.I could have conducted experiments to see which food the slime mould prefers.
This is a time lapse video which Heather Barnett made to experiment with the likes and dislikes of the slime mould.
If my slime mould had survived, I could have set a maze for the slime mould to complete.The slime mould figures out the fastest possible route between food sources, after exploring each possible direction.
Efficiency in nature has become interesting to me as I continue to study soap bubbles and films. Soap bubbles are similar to the slime mould if you consider efficiency, soap bubbles use the least amount of surface area in an enclosed shape (a sphere). Both soap films and slime moulds have been known to find the quickest point from A to B, when simulating road networks.
Slime Mould Road SimulationSoap Film Road Simulation
Interestingly, slime moulds are considered to have memory, learning to stay away / retreat from threats.These intelligent organisms are fascinating insights in to how nature can work to achieve maximum efficiency as an end result.

Pictures by Anita, Slime mould made by Heather Barnett.
Here are some pictures taken from Slimoco, the Slime Mould collective website, where you can learn to make your own slime mould and share your experiments.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,