Margarita Osipian

Grow Your Own Billboard

Mycologist Patrick Hickey's living billboard for the film Contagion.

Viral marketing has taken on a whole new meaning with this living billboard made from fungus and bacteria.

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Contagion billboard screen shot - This is a screen shot from the short film about the living billboard made to promote the film Contagion. The film came from the Warner Bros. YouTube channel, and can be found here . Warner Bros

In this microbial billboard, the advertisement for the film 'Contagion' literally grows out of two giant rectangular petri-dishes. With the help of mycologist Patrick Hickey, Warner Bros. was able to create living fungus and bacteria laden billboards.

The two billboards were giant rectangular petri-dishes which were 'painted' with a variety of fairly harmless bacteria and fungi. Over time, what appeared to be two empty rectangular blocks hanging in a window began to grow colourful fungi and bacteria that spelled out the name of the film. Other bacteria from the outside environment also made it into the mix and added some unexpected elements to the final results.

Watch the time-lapse video below to see the entire process of constructing these two billboards and the growth of the fungus and bacteria.

Patrick Hickey has been collaborating with artists and media organizations for some time now. He recently collaborated with Yann Seznec for The Secret Sounds of Spores installation, which is being installed in the Paddestoelen Paradijs exhibition on the 10th of February, 2012.