I, H O O BIONT ...

Responsive Bacterial Capsules




Artist Intervention at Salon Zukunfstkultur 2023


conference by BMEIA Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at MQ Wien

Maaijke Middelbeek, Multispecies Entanglement, Interspecies communication, Symbiocene, Postanthropocene


Flyer and test-tube with the I, Holobiont responsive bacterial capsule


Presentation with a turning red pill


There are two types of bacteria in the pill that are, well, quite intense,

if you know what I mean. They were both discovered last year.


Click if you want to zoom in on

Bifidobacterium transformatis and Streptococcus dissolvens

Maaijke Middelbeek, Multispecies entanglement, Symbiocene, Postanthropocene


Presenting the bioreactor in which I cultured symbiotic bacteria. Some of them are also part of the pill.

I will countdown from 5 to 1 and we will

swallow the pill altogether.





Audience participating, with closed eyes during the collective audio guided trip through the microcosm, after swallowing the responsive bacterial capsule



The moment I ask the audience to get ready for the collective audio guided trip, when they take out the pill and open the water bottle.


From February 18th till May 21st, 2023 - in Künstlerhaus, Vienna


you can swallow the I, Holobiont... responsive bacterial pills 

and go on an Audio-Tour; a transformative journey though our microcosm


    guided by

                               befriended invaders... 











Maaijke Middelbeek, Through ooze and slime, On the road again, Künstlerhaus Wien,  interspecies communication, becoming with, symbiocene


Visitors swallowing the responsive bacterial capsules and scanning

the QR-code during the opening in Künstlerhaus Wien

Maaijke Middelbeek, Künstlerhaus, On the road again


Red Locker with cups with the responsive bacterial capsules

and on the left the QR-code (for the audio-tour below)


is an assemblage of a host and the many other species living in and on it, which alltogether form a discrete ecological unit through symbiosis. The term “holobiont” was first introduced by biologist Lynn Margulis in her 1991 book: Symbiosis as a Source of Evolutionary Innovation.


Maaijke Middelbeek, Interspecies Communication, I Holobiont, Multispecies entanglement


Young visitors making the audio tour after

swallowing the responsive bacterial capsules

Link from QR-code for the audio tour:



Interspecies Lab

exhibition view at Künstlerhaus Wien




Bacterial colony

It was so nice to see you smile during the exhibition opening!


                                                             Thank you for going on that journey. For your trust and doubt...





Below: visitor looking in the wooden cube

>> my interspecies laboratory




>> Befriended invaders grown in the exhibition's bioreactor...



Bioreactor growing the bacteria in the pill

The bacterial cultures in the capsule pills were cultured in this bioreactor, than processed and dehydrated in the lab, to extract the ingredients, the transformative responsive bacteria; Bifidobacterium transformatis, Streptococcus dissolvens and a kombucha powder.