DASHA PLESEN is an artist who cultivates mold into unique and beautiful bacteria compositions. With her work she pushes the boundaries of science and art.

The artist laces petri dishes with various bacterias and other organisms before placing extra elements like fluffy balls, sugars, and sprinkles in the container. These manufactured additions impede the growths to produce myriad shades and structures and cultivate otherworldly compositions of unnaturally saturated colors, patches of fuzz, and flared coils of slime all within a single vessel.

We got the chance to have a chat with Dasha about her work and the unique processes of creation behind it.

Thank you so much for your time, Dasha! How did you develop the idea to create art out of mold?

It was a partial accident, I got this idea while meditating on Foundation Art and Design course. Was looking for inspiration inside, not out. Also after school I was thinking about medical university, because I was mad since childhood about blood, tissues, operations, lab aesthetics, lab robes, all those liquids, bubbles. And this passion finds the way through this type of collaboration - between art and science. I strongly believe that this synthesis is very powerful and in other words - represents everything in our world; it is physical and meta at the same time. Very ancient and modern together. Tributing the Creator, spirituality and physics with chemistry at the same time. It could be applied to any form, from fashion and crafts, to architecture and rocket science. For me this is the shapeless shape, which is explored as nothing and as everything at the same time. I do love these parallels and metaphors.




Do you have any scientific background or did you gain all the required knowledge by yourself?

No, I just did some operations on frogs and rats when I was a child and read some topics about what microbiology is. (laughing) To be honest, everything on my own fails and succeeds


How are you provoking these fantastic colors?

I use different pigments, which can provide enormous effects from the side of density, textures,  color tightness, shades, mood etc. Some cultures can soak the color and produce new shades through their excretory system. This is truly magnificent, all these gradients and multi layered shades.  It's like Photoshop tools, but they are real. I can touch them with my fingers, smell with my nose, and feel with the whole inner of my Heart center.



Describe your ideal working environment. Are there any specific requirements for mold cultivation?

If I talk about my traditional technique - it should be a living space with energies, light, happiness and hope. With a lot of sunlight, cool air, green flowers, fruit, berries, loud songs, incense. I would say it could be a semi lab-farm house somewhere on the island, between big water and jungles. The mixture of Faust and Robinzon vibes. As for super specific requirements, when it comes about super serious cultivation for the brands for example, where i need to grow only one specific type on a blood based agar - i work with my colleague in a sterile laboratory. So it's a very separate story - when i work with Universal microbiome (my body, flat, fridge, personal items, my dog, people i love) - and when i need to cultivate some types of Streptococcus or Bacillus.


What's the purpose or goal of your work?

Goal means the end in some cases. I love the process of discovering people's reactions, comments and how they dash inside their inner labyrinths through my works. Also I love how I develop my inner skills too. All conversations with customers, followers, brands - these are my fav. When I pack the items I feel ecstatic, because I can share this passion and love, and can sign the postcard with my whole inspiration and joy. When I start to think about goal and purpose - I deactivated and cant be connected with the Big Energy. It's exhausting for me.



You are doing great corporations, for example with Vogue Russia or Levis. But you are also having your own label, right? Have you always been into fashion as well?

Yes, I do textile printing. Especially now working on a full printed tee concept. Have a lot of ideas and sketches. So work in progress - the whole life for happy experiments and amazing textures.

Politically, we live in a divided world at the moment. How important is social media for you these days?

Instagram and Facebook are my main platforms. I hope that things are gonna be alright soon. To live - means to generate love, joy and happiness.

Where do you find inspiration?

Mostly inside! As for recharging,  I concentrate on the Heart Center and feel the heat, reloading my chakras, imagining the wires from space, connected to my body, and roots from my legs to the center of the Earth. I feel this unity and the God particle inside. This is the best practice and meditation. The human - inspiration itself, with an unlimited source and power. 



Dasha, thank you so much for your precious time!


Discover more about DASHA PLESEN by visiting the links below: