I, o L o Bi o nt ...


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


After the coffee break the audience found the card with the pill 

on their chairs and a bottle of water under it.



Above: part of the presentation during my artist intervention (with a turning red pill)




In my bioreactor that you see here on the stage with me (see photo below) I cultivated the bacteria for the pill. It is filled with symbiotic cultures of bacteria & yeast.


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.



Bifidobacterium transformatis & Streptococcus dissolvens


Click on the photos above if you want to zoom in 



Maaijke Middelbeek, Multispecies entanglement, Symbiocene, Postanthropocene


Artist intervention at the Auslandskulturtagung 2023.

Presenting the bioreactor in which I cultured symbiotic bacteria, that 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.


Two poster texts above and below presentation of the work in:


 Künstlerhaus, Vienna 

Febr. 18th till May 21st, 2023




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

and go on an Audio-guided trip through (y)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...