GMU:Introduction to Microscopy/Sascha Mirtschin

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A Expedition Through Microscopy
Sascha Mirtschin


[01] 02.11.20 20:20

It has begun. Today i've met the whole expeditioncrew. Some have ideas, plans. A clue of what they wanne do. Others, like myself, plunging into it without knowing.And oh boy ,my english is bad. Especially when it comes to talking infront of the webcam. Looking for words often leads to the point, on which i forget what the f**k i wanted to say. But:Hold your horses!

In the morning i started to listen to podcasts about biology. A whole lot of information. Apes,fruits,fermantation,alcohol,human,disease. My head, the shaken snow globe. I have to remind myself. Its not a race. Strolling allowed, curiosity desired. The most smartest thing to do probably is to start with the basics. Whats the history of microscopy. Examples and applications.

What to do with all that? As much or as good as possible?

Big Biology Podcast :

[02] 03.11.20 12:12

There is no good documentation about the history of microscopy to be found on youtube. Like a madman i've collected facts and figures. Noted names to forget them immediately. I was still amazed. So early and so brilliant the people played around with optics. And i am damn sure. A simple waterdrop triggered the wave. A lot of the developments happened simultaneously. The Microscope versus the telescope, which was the most favorable and demanded one. Due to the desire of ruling the battlegrounds. Humans.Ever striving for expansion. It was not uncommon that explorers had to face antipathy or worse. Galilei was sent to prison for defending the heliocentric worldview. Some things never change.

Curiosity. The cognitive microscope.

It is good that the implementation of our research is entirely up to us. A open frame. I was thinking about sculptures made out of soapstone. A cubistic painting of a microscope. Photo series. I am getting restless.

WIN 20201112 12 24 14 Pro.jpg : History of glasses : History of the microscope

[03] 04.11.20 19:23

I've went to the labratory today. The hallways seem abandoned and dreary. Like the opening scene of some horror movie. It echoes through the corridors and stairwells. Somehow beautiful. Corona. It turns us to strangers and increases the desire to approach the person opposite. To converge. Like penguins. There are notes on the walls and the cabinets. Figures and measurements. Pictures of tinkering scientists in white gowns come to my mind. The first look through the microscope evokes the expected sounds. With the right music as a soundtrack one can spend hours and hours in this landscapes. I was looking at a dried, mouldy specimen of a "physarum polycepharums". The Blob itself. If Julian hasn't told me, i would've been sure it had to be that way, and that it were a special species. My favorite one, a "lichen" ( a mixture of algae and mushrooms) was under the compounds. Glued to a piece of wood. Just beautiful. Julian gave me some tips how to wear and preperate my mask to prevent the ocular from misting. Then i left and went to get my key. I wonder how i will look at the world after i spent some qualitiy time in the lab. Head over heels floating in the microcosm.

[04] 05.11.20 20:13

I have troubles finding an idea. Something to work on. I am looking for coherences and points of contact. Something that addresses and encourages me. Philosophy and biology. Roaming the world wide web i stumbled upon Josef M. Gaßner. So much joy and passion for the unknown is contagious. His knowledge inspiring. I guess it need some more research.

Urknall, Weltall und das Leben:

[05] 06.11.20 15:56

It took some willpower to go outside, the camera in the luggage. As if the defeat was lurking in the grove. Hesitant in the beginning, close to be embarrassed i've started to take the first pictures. Step by step, thought after thought the lights in the upper roam got ignited. I've been hooked. Motion in space, in time. Without moving. The body almost rigid. Like going by train. Dormant change.

[06] 09.11.20

Its hard not to lose faith, if the first thoughts put in practice are not turning out like you've imagined. When they dismantle the whole picture bit by bit. On the other hand. Its good to realize that one can adapt quickly. Yet i have some solutions or at least basic approaches how to solve things. I am glad about what is functioning and the developments i am stumbling upon. Who should start with the details?. Microscopy. A slowly unfolding map.

[07] 10.11.20

The first series is finished. A few more photomontage and i will change to the drawings. Working in front a screen gives me headaches. And somehow one can get the feeling he has done nothing at all. The series is called "The Bigger Picture". Some kind of an cubistic artefact. A graphic error in the landscape. The attempt to show the concurrency of an object from different views and at different times. Whereby time has a minor part. David Hockney says hello. More or less.

Cubism David Hockney :

[08] 11.11.20

I've began a new series and call it "3000X 9000X 22000X". After the zoom steps in the software. I could imagine that this pictures would look great in oil on canvas. But who has the time for things like this?


Proportion. That could be a topic to talk about. What's all the seeing and guessing worth, if there is no reference. Without a scale that makes the understanding tangible. Another goal of art i guess. I am thinking of tiny toy characters. Standing, crouching , waiting. In cracks in the wall, in the undergrowth.


It felt good to receive positive feedback. One can not be sure, if the work thats been done is perceived as "just playing around" or the serious and passionate attempt to express the perceptions and sensations he had. I've been allowed to follow my workflow after the sighting of my wikipage. We listened to the projects of the other colleguages. Very promising and inspiring. I am looking forward to a collective exhibition. Yesterday I started and finished a little project. Finished in a sense, that it is an expandable process in finding words. The "Microscopy of Words" or "Layers of Conditions" is an attempt of getting more and more subtle. Like looking through a lense and setting the stages of the magnification. In times of the great topic "awareness" it represents a small observation. Something to which one could meditate. Zooming into a state of mind to open up in it. Maybe to become one with it. Affirmations. Of the eight conditions I like the "Touch, Perceive, Thrill" the most. Cause it is good doing the thinking. But in the end, the act, the body experience is connecting us to nature. I would add a new triptych. "Witness, experience, live" Pathetic. How should it be different.


The project “Picture to Sound” started as well. After i found to programs to convert pictures i began to play around, uploaded different kinds of photos to see how they will sound. First it was kind of fun. In particular the “randomize” button of sonic photo does its job in creating weird sounds. The limitations of the free version are still obstructive. Especially the time limitation. I found some tunes i liked and uploaded them in the sampler of Ableton to be able to play them on the keyboard. I guess this is the most interesting part of these kinds of program. Creating special instruments.



I've been to the lab an took some equipment. Cause i didnt know what and how and if at all, i took 5 petri-dishes, 1 pipette, a syringe and 5 slides. I remembered the idea of a photoseries. Objects used in microscopy, put next to each other.In different “Constellations”, each object receives a new and individual expressiveness, like a person acts different in various groups. Thereby it gets the possibility of a personality, evoked by its comparability. It will be in black and white. I just need some fabric for the background.

I wondered about the withered plant on the desk in the office of the labs. Corona puts all our relationsships to test.


The other courses have started. And with them a bit of stress. I've been to the lab once. A short visit to take the photos of the microscope i needed, to be able to paint the cubism-like picture. Fortunatly Julian was about to sight the lenses and connections for the cameras and tried to make the advanced photography work. I took two pictures of a slime mold and set a date with Anna for upcoming joint sessions.

[13] 04.12

Art is hope and cubism is pilosophy. One that brings me to a limit quickly. It aint done with smacking some shapes and colors onto a canvas. Nothing is closed and therefor dynamic. Movement inside a frame. The work is stimulating. I will continue and will try some studies with coloured pencils, before I dare to return to the brushes.

[14] 07.12

And every meeting makes me nervous. I want to get up and into the lab. But first “sampling”. “Dig it, really on the bottom. Moist and warm. Something you wouldnt want to drink” The home of the invisible.

It's exhausting for everyone. The distance. Looking at the world through lenses, screens and windows.

[15] 14.12

Thursday i shot the first videos and took some pictures with the camera. I had company . Sisu and Denise joined me and examined their samples. A welcome change. But there was not much of movement to be found and time was running in lightning speed. The expedition has been marred only by the fact ,that the qualitiy of the camera wasn't what i've expected and that the focus of the lense hasn't matched the focus of the ocular. So shooting videos while exploring was quite difficult. Further i had to nearly squash my sample and with it the glass of the specimen to get a sharp image. All in all i have to repeat the whole procedure. Several times. Research i guess.

I've examined lichen, Ilmwater, water taken from the biowaste and different kind of soils. I thought that i catched nothing at all. Later on by sighting the material i've realized the many tiny movements.