Maaijke Middelbeek

1979, Nijmegen NL

Currently lives & works in Vienna AT




My work is interdisciplinary, eco-emancipated (Sharon Krause) and posthumanist. I explore our multispecies entanglements by collaborating with living organisms, to co-create stories  - speculative fabulations - for alternative worlds, where in the vitality and potentiality of human and other-than-human beings is fostered and celebratedLearning about ecology and witnessing the rapid human-induced change in our biosphere, I developed a sense of care and response-ability as an artist and question(ed) my artistic practice and it's relation to living on a damaged planet. As a counter reaction to our consumerism and the remaining waste and destruction, I started to make bio-artworks that are transitory and not necessarily meant to last. My exhibitions primarily show biological processes and frequently invite the audience to do or become with, eg. join a "Live Photosynthesis Performance" with algae, swallow the "I, Holobiont…" responsive bacterial capsule and go on an audio-guided trip through the microcosm, or the process of decomposing collected garments together with fungi in a compost heap.



I interact and gleefully co-exist with various species in my Studio-Lab; bacteria, fungi and algae. Currently I make research on mycoremediation; a remedial treatment for breaking down pollutants with fungi, as on growing a photosynthetic tissue from algae, a biomaterial for a whole phyto-suit, still a fine line to my background in fashion & textile design. 




I studied Fashion & Textile design at AMFI - Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (1999 - 2004, BA). After graduating I worked in different fields of the fashion industry, mostly in journalism (e.g. L’Officiel NL) and copywriting (e.g. Unfold/Press Only PR). I experienced the rapid change in a volatile fast-fashion-industry and soon felt the need to tell different contradictory stories, in addition I longed to devote myself to more autonomous and conceptual work. In 2015 I moved to Vienna where I found a fruitful base to grow art and set up exhibitions. 






UPCOMING in 2025:

Exhibition curated by focusTerra at ETH Zürich about CO2 with my 'Live Photosynthesis Performance', March 2025

Auslandsateliersstipendium Helsinki BMKÖ HIAP Helsinki International Artist Programm

Zeewier Symposium (Seaweed Symposium) in the Netherlands, invited by Platform DIS 




Presentation of my work for the division Microbial Ecology Prof. Dr. David Berry at UBB (Biology Building of the University of Vienna) invited by Sanaz Khadem.


Wardrobe Wasteland: A Tale of Metamorphosis Vienna Art Week House of Passion - part of the group exhibition and Open Studio Days, November 2023  

Publication with the show: Chronicles of the Earth's Underbelly


I, Holobiont - responsive bacterial capsule Artist Intervention at Salon Zukunfstkultur, Art for Regeneration, Auslandskulturtagung  (cultural conference of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in MQ - curated by Verena Kaspar Eisert.


Febr. 18th - May 21st Künstlerhaus  Wien, exhibition with the other selected artists from the ON THE ROAD AGAIN call, supported by BMEIA Austrian Minsistry of Foreign Affairs, curated by Simon Mraz and Christian Helbock.


Article in Der Standard


THROUGH OOZE and SLIME Jan. 18th - 31st - SOLO exhibition with the Austrian Cultural Forum Zagreb, supported by BMEIA Austrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at Galerija Na Katu, KIC Zagreb, HR (part of ON THE ROAD AGAIN).


Link: Biology students visiting the exhibition

Article in newspaper Jutarji List


Publication in Apocalypse Zine #3 by Sarah Sharafi





ON THE ROAD AGAIN Panel Discussion about our projects with jury member Christoph Thun Hohenstein and artists Anna Witt and Claudia Larcher (see also ON THE ROAD AGAIN 2023).


POROUS PROJECTIONS May 05th - June 30th, at Afro-Asiatsisches Institut Graz. Curated by Huda Takriti and Kyungrim Lim Jang.


Publication: POROUS PROJECTIONS interview about cultivation, contamination and being an other-mother. PDF of the article under Porous Projections.


OTHER-MOTHER photo exhibition in collaboration with art-historian & framer Veronika Korbei, side programm of Foto Wien in M2.


MY ARTIFICIAL WOMB  at Soho Studios Vienna with QM&A curated by Ale Zapata. From May to Nov. 2021 I joined the Question Me & Answer artist collective. During these months I made research on SCOBY (Symbiotic Cultures Of Bacteria & Yeast) and collaborated with artist Mary Maggic.





REACTIVE FUNGI WEARABLE at Red Carpet Showroom U-bahn station Karplsplatz in July'21. Collaboration with Question Me & Answer.




TERRAIN VAGUE at Galerie SPZ in Prague, with Andreas Perkmann Berger and Rainer Stadlbauer from Kunstraum SUPER, Oct. 29 - Nov. 20, 2020 


August 26 Gugging Sommerfest: drawing Tastsinn for #freudebereiten

Galerie Gugging


Compost Archaeology + Tastes like Honey

July 2020, Research Residency Künst in der Natur, Waldviertel AT. 




December 2019 to March 2020  Banner at Galerie SPZ Prague. Kunstraum Super Vienna invited me to design a flag as an announcement for an upcoming show in Galerie SPZ in Prague.


July 5 - August 8, 2019  TRANSITIONEN Group show with Kunstraum Super in Anti-chambre DüsseldorfCurated by: Wilko Austermann, Andreas Perkmann Berger and Rainer Stadlbauer. 




September 25th - 30th.  From one skin to another 

Parallel Vienna, a Project Statement with Basement Autonomes Kunstraum. Duo exhibition with artist Christina Boula




May - June 2017.  Geschichten aus Schichten with Format.strk Vienna. Duo show with New Media artist Kevin Daryl Ferdinandus. 

Strategische Kapitulation Website




September 2016 - Zeitzoo Group Exhibition, Vienna.