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Work Samples

Bordered World

Bordered World, Evolving mold in 2500 Petri dishes at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY, 2014-15 DESCRIPTION: Bordered World creates a competition for resources, territorial wars, and struggle for power and control among living organisms. In this project, I reference the fundamental, underlying social dilemmas and principles of our existence in an effort to understand and highlight social issues.

Contamination I

Contamination I, Mold on panels, 70x220", 2012 at University of Maryland Art Gallery, College Park, Maryland DESCRIPTION: I use live microscopic mold that leaves physical inscriptions by direct contact on the surface of a paper or board, which creates a living platform. In Contamination Series, the surface of each panel is laced with graceful, brilliant mold until the entire surface is covered and patterned with circular borders.

The World

The World, video, originally 4:33min, 2010 DESCRIPTION:I used mold to specifically refer to human behavior, culture and society. The world's political map was re-created on a board with growth media (food), then different microorganisms were placed to represent each country. The work demonstrates human actions, form of power, political pressures, immigration, racialism and the dominance of superior countries.

Contamination 28

Contamination'28', mold on panels, 60x60", 2014 at Trawick Prize Exhibition, Gallery B, Bethesda, Maryland. DESCRIPTION: I use live microscopic mold that leaves physical inscriptions by direct contact on the surface of a paper or board, which creates a living platform. In Contamination Series, the surface of each panel is laced with graceful, brilliant mold until the entire surface is covered and patterned with circular borders.

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About Selin

Anne Arundel County

Selin's work is classified as bio-art, a new direction in contemporary art that employs living organisms. The marriage of her formal science and art education let her exploit this relatively new practice. She uses live microscopic mold that leaves physical inscriptions by direct contact on the surface of the paper, which creates a living platform. This artificially constructed platform serves not only as a vivarium for mold, but also a living studio in which unseen life forms emerge.... more

Bordered World

Bordered World, Evolving mold in 2500 Petri dishes at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY, 2014-15

Bordered World creates a competition for resources, territorial wars, and struggle for power and control among living organisms. In this project, I reference the fundamental, underlying social dilemmas and principles of our existence in an effort to understand and highlight social issues. My concepts are explored using living entities such as fungus and mold to recreate observable interactions and conflicts across the picture surface, where the outcomes reveal boundaries, edges and distinctive forms. In Bordered World, all vital resources are restricted. This limited environment makes microbes compete for resources, dominate a particular area or become invasive and endanger others. When they share the same living platform, a conflict for resources arise and eventually this results with a borderline. The behaviors of the microorganisms resemble human actions and motives. Visually representing the world map, these microbes act as metaphors for war and the human predicament.

"In Selin Balci’s bio-art installation Bordered World, 2,500 Petri dishes compose a three-dimensional kaleidoscopic world map representing the universal struggle for survival and dominance. Within each hand “painted” Petri dish, live molds and fungi are in an observable battle for limited resources. Distinctive borders slowly form and new colonies develop during this microscopic feud."
Smack Mellon Curator

Contamination Series

I use live microscopic mold that leaves physical inscriptions by direct contact on the surface of a paper or board, which creates a living platform. In Contamination Series, the surface of each panel is laced with graceful, brilliant mold until the entire surface is covered and patterned with circular borders. Then, I assembled these forms and shapes that mold produced, to create various visual references that can relate to both natural and human impacted landscapes. The forms have similarities to human-induced activities on the landscape. They create territories, boundaries, and borderlines and end up with conflicts on the picture surface.

"Balci gives living microbes a place to grow and organize themselves on specially prepared plates. The microorganisms, which normally are invisible to the naked eye, are made visible in these conditions. They create maps of “territories” as they battle for the food sources, and their behavior is disturbingly parallel to many scenarios of human conflict. The artist organizes and assembles the landscapes or maps that result from these natural migrations into abstract compositions that are limited in tonal variation but elegant in form." by Claudia Rousseau, Gazette.net, September 18, 2013.

  • Contamination 28

    Contamination'28', mold on panels, 60x60", 2014 at Trawick Prize Exhibition, Gallery B, Bethesda, Maryland. DESCRIPTION: I use live microscopic mold that leaves physical inscriptions by direct contact on the surface of a paper or board, which creates a living platform. In Contamination Series, the surface of each panel is laced with graceful, brilliant mold until the entire surface is covered and patterned with circular borders.
  • Contamination 28 (detail)

    Contamination'28', mold on panels, 60x60", 2014 at Trawick Prize Exhibition, Gallery B, Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Contamination 28 (detail)

    Contamination'28', mold on panels, 60x60", 2014 at Trawick Prize Exhibition, Gallery B, Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Annapolis (Highland Beach)

    Microscopic mold on panels, 40x100”, 2018 at School 33 Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland. In this work, I used microscopic mold that is collected from Highland Beach, Annapolis to create an unseen landscape of the scene. Emerging from a diverse array of mold, this work interprets the landscape with invisible inhabitants.
  • Annapolis (Highland Beach)

    Microscopic mold on panels, 40x100”, 2018
  • Contamination 32

    Contamination 32, mold on panels, 70x70", 2013 The University of Maryland, College Park Stamp Student Union, Contemporary Art Permanent Collection, College Park, MD.
  • Contamination 32

    Contamination 32, mold on panels, 70x70", 2013 The University of Maryland, College Park Stamp Student Union, Contemporary Art Permanent Collection, College Park, MD.
  • Contamination 32

    Contamination 32, mold on panels, 70x70", 2013 The University of Maryland, College Park Stamp Student Union, Contemporary Art Permanent Collection, College Park, MD.
  • Contamination II

    Contamination II (detail), mold on panels, 60x110", 2012 at ConnerSmith Gallery, Washignton, DC
  • Contamination II (detail)

    Contamination II (detail), mold on panels, 60x110", 2012 at ConnerSmith Gallery, Washignton, DC

Contamination Series (continues)

I use live microscopic mold that leaves physical inscriptions by direct contact on the surface of a paper or board, which creates a living platform. In Contamination Series, the surface of each panel is laced with graceful, brilliant mold until the entire surface is covered and patterned with circular borders. Then, I assembled these forms and shapes that mold produced, to create various visual references that can relate to both natural and human impacted landscapes. The forms have similarities to human-induced activities on the landscape. They create territories, boundaries, and borderlines and end up with conflicts on the picture surface.

"Balci gives living microbes a place to grow and organize themselves on specially prepared plates. The microorganisms, which normally are invisible to the naked eye, are made visible in these conditions. They create maps of “territories” as they battle for the food sources, and their behavior is disturbingly parallel to many scenarios of human conflict. The artist organizes and assembles the landscapes or maps that result from these natural migrations into abstract compositions that are limited in tonal variation but elegant in form." by Claudia Rousseau, Gazette.net, September 18, 2013.

  • Contamination I

    Contamination I, Mold on panels, 70x220", 2012 at University of Maryland Art Gallery, College Park, Maryland DESCRIPTION: I use live microscopic mold that leaves physical inscriptions by direct contact on the surface of a paper or board, which creates a living platform. In Contamination Series, the surface of each panel is laced with graceful, brilliant mold until the entire surface is covered and patterned with circular borders.
  • Contamination I

    Contamination I, Mold on panels, 70x220", 2012 at University of Maryland Art Gallery, College Park, Maryland
  • Contamination I

    Contamination I, Mold on panels, 70x220", 2012 at University of Maryland Art Gallery, College Park, Maryland
  • Contamination I

    Contamination I, Mold on panels, 70x220", 2012 at University of Maryland Art Gallery, College Park, Maryland
  • Contamination I

    Contamination I, Mold on panels, 70x220", 2012 at University of Maryland Art Gallery, College Park, Maryland
  • Bound

    Bound, Mold on panels, each 11x14", 2011 at The Pearl Conard Art Gallery, The Ohio State University, Mansfield, Ohio
  • Bound

    Bound, Mold on panels, each 11x14", 2011 at The Pearl Conard Art Gallery, The Ohio State University, Mansfield, Ohio
  • Structures

    Structures, Mold on panels, 10x10" each, 2012 at Hamiltonian Gallery, Washington DC.
  • Structures

    Structures, Mold on panels, 10x10" each, 2012 at Hamiltonian Gallery, Washington DC.

Land

Land, Mold on yupo paper covered with watch glasses, 2016

"Selin Balci also considers space exploration, though it's from a more removed perspective. Balci’s piece is a magnified image of a series of petri dishes, with each simultaneously functioning as zoomed-in representations of cells. It's large and spreads across most of the wall—most visible, like a microscope, from far away. When you take three or four steps back, ‘Land’ forms a constellation of sorts in which the dishes are gathered in clusters that meander in a downward slope. In the past, Balci has organized them into the worldmap, and in ‘Land’ she uses these petri dishes, which quarantine the smallest of humanly known substances and each act like their own star, to emblematize outer space phenomena—the most humanly inconceivable shit ever, really. The piece is a convergence of the most extreme forms of zooming-in and zooming-out. For Balci, microscopes might as well be telescopes."
By Eli Zeger, City Paper

  • Land

    Land, Mold on yupo paper covered with watch glasses, 2016
  • Land

    Land, Mold on yupo paper covered with watch glasses, 2016
  • Land

    Land, Mold on yupo paper covered with watch glasses, 2016
  • Land

    Land, Mold on yupo paper covered with watch glasses, 2016
  • Land

    Land, Mold on yupo paper covered with watch glasses, 2016
  • Land

    Land, Mold on yupo paper covered with watch glasses, 2016
  • Land

    Land, Mold on yupo paper covered with watch glasses, 2016

The World

I used mold to specifically refer to human behavior, culture and society. The world's political map was re-created on a board with growth media (food), then different microorganisms were placed to represent each country. The work demonstrates human actions, form of power, political pressures, immigration, racialism and the dominance of superior countries.

"The map-based works present this phenomenon in stark terms, played out as geopolitical headlines ripped from the paper. The World depicts worlds run amok by war, disease or possibly famine. Faint pencil outlines suggest physical boundaries that the organisms push to the brink. Teaming and frothing, they have no “place” to go, and so they turn on one another in a game of brinkmanship, drawing boundaries with battlegrounds in an effort to gain the upper hand. The pieces are both eerie and transfixing, haunting yet mesmerizing, and their underlying message could be ignored offhand, if not for the fact that we see similar battles taking place today in regions as remote as Syria and as near as Dallas." Eric Hope for East City Art, 2014.

  • The World

    The World, Mold on panel, 24x36", 2013--------------------- I used mold to specifically refer to human behavior, culture and society. The world's political map was re-created on a board with growth media (food), then different microorganisms were placed to represent each country. The work demonstrates human actions, form of power, political pressures, immigration, racialism and the dominance of superior countries.
  • The World

    Mold on Panel, 24x36", 2013
  • The World

    Mold on Panel, 24x36", 2013
  • The World

    The World, video, originally 4:33min, 2010 DESCRIPTION:I used mold to specifically refer to human behavior, culture and society. The world's political map was re-created on a board with growth media (food), then different microorganisms were placed to represent each country. The work demonstrates human actions, form of power, political pressures, immigration, racialism and the dominance of superior countries.

200

In "200" participants contributed to my work. I asked 200 gallery hosts to give me samples from their body. My initial aim was to create portraits of them by using an untraditional way. Most of the hosts have been participated with hair, nail and small skin slices, fabric from their clothing and little pieces from their pockets. I placed the samples in small Petri dishes with nutrient media. The hosts labeled the Petri dishes with their names, sample names and the date--which is a very scientific method to label the Petri dishes in a laboratory. After few days, the microorganisms that the hosts mutually shared their environment with - started to grow in the Petri dishes and change the forms and colors each day during the exhibition day.

  • 200

    200, speciments and evolving mold in Petri dishes, 2015 at Zorlu Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 200

    200, speciments and evolving mold in Petri dishes, 2015 at Zorlu Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 200

    200, speciments and evolving mold in Petri dishes, 2015 at Zorlu Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 200

    200, speciments and evolving mold in Petri dishes, 2015 at Zorlu Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 200

    200, speciments and evolving mold in Petri dishes, 2015 at Zorlu Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 200

    200, speciments and evolving mold in Petri dishes, 2015 at Zorlu Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 200

    200, speciments and evolving mold in Petri dishes, 2015 at Zorlu Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 200

    200, speciments and evolving mold in Petri dishes, 2015 at Zorlu Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 200

    200, speciments and evolving mold in Petri dishes, 2015 at Zorlu Center, Istanbul, Turkey

Anthropogenic

Anthropogenic, Microscopic mold and digital pigment print in Petri dishes, 60 Petri dishes, 2018

Human induced activities impact our environment in several ways. Affects include; increasing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing water quality, deforestation, over-consumption of natural resources and causing global climate change. ‘Anthropogenic’ questions how human induced activities impact our ecosystem. Nature images placed first in the Petri dishes, then mold is introduced to make destruction on the picture surface.

  • Anthropogenic

    Microscopic mold and digital pigment print in Petri dishes, 60 Petri dishes, 2018
  • Anthropogenic

    Anthropogenic, Microscopic mold and digital pigment print in Petri dishes, 60 Petri dishes, 2018
  • Anthropogenic

    Anthropogenic, Microscopic mold and digital pigment print in Petri dishes, 60 Petri dishes, 2018
  • Anthropogenic

    Anthropogenic, Microscopic mold and digital pigment print in Petri dishes, 60 Petri dishes, 2018
  • Anthropogenic

    Anthropogenic, Microscopic mold and digital pigment print in Petri dishes, 60 Petri dishes, 2018
  • Anthropogenic

    Anthropogenic, Microscopic mold and digital pigment print in Petri dishes, 60 Petri dishes, 2018
  • Anthropogenic

    Anthropogenic, Microscopic mold and digital pigment print in Petri dishes, 60 Petri dishes, 2018
  • Anthropogenic

    Anthropogenic, Microscopic mold and digital pigment print in Petri dishes, 60 Petri dishes, 2018
  • Anthropogenic

    Anthropogenic, Microscopic mold and digital pigment print in Petri dishes, 60 Petri dishes, 2018
  • Anthropogenic

    Anthropogenic, Microscopic mold and digital pigment print in Petri dishes, 60 Petri dishes, 2018

Video Works

  • Quorum Sensing

    Selin Balcı, Quorum Sensing, Video: 2:33’, 2011 Bacteria use a cell-to-cell communication system called as ‘Quorum Sensing’ to coordinate population density-dependent changes in behavior. Inspired by this dialog, I created a lushly visual and interactive biological landscape by using highly patterned and colored mold in this work.
  • Dominion

    Dominion, 2011 Video, 10:00

Connect with Selin

Selin's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.