“Outnumber the Stars”


Artist: Collaboration between sisters, Annaliese Rittershaus and Emily Rittershaus

Medium: Projected video inside a wooden box, or directly onto a gallery wall from a pedestal 24" from the wall, depending on the layout of the gallery. The images are bacteria colonized petri dishes virally infected with phage. AAXA LED pocket projector and looped .avi file. 

Dimensions: Approx 6" x 6" x 24" 

Video preview: 


Phage (short for bacteriophage) is a virus that infects and replicates within a bacterium. The term is derived from phagein, meaning “to devour” in Greek. Historically, phage have been used as an alternative to antibiotics to treat bacterial infections, and have the potential to become an accepted treatment for antibiotic resistant infections, such as MRSA. When a petri dish, teeming with live colonies of bacteria, is exposed to a phage, the devouring begins. In the wake of destruction, these beautiful, lacey, abstract patterns emerge, reminiscent of the surface of the moon. Phage are among the most common and diverse organisms in existence, and are estimated to outnumber the stars. 


Bio: Annaliese Rittershaus is a sculptor and video artist. Emily Rittershaus is a PhD candidate studying tuberculosis. They share a love of science and the arts.