live photosynthesis performance, Maaijke Middelbeek, Künstlerhaus, On the road again, becoming with

                                                                                                    Photo: Michael Nagl




Interactive living oxygen generator with Chlorella algae cultivated with 

the Dept. of Phycology UBB Vienna, here part of ON THE ROAD AGAIN

in Künstlerhaus Vienna from Febr. 18th to May 21st, 2023


<<  Soundcloud link  >>    

Fragment of sounds of photosynthesis by Karl Stirner

 Paul Gründorfer made the bioreactive sound design for the work


more info about the sound of photosynthesis and the bioreactive part further down





Below as part of THROUGH OOZE and SLIME

SOLO exhibition in Galerija Na Katu, Zagreb, HR

Jan. 2023



interactive living oxygen generator


Here you see a living oxygen generator designed for interspecies communication with

algae. It is filled with microscopic marine algae and seaweeds from the North Sea

coast of the Netherlands: Diatoma, Nannochloropsis, Bladderwrack,

Sea whistle, Devil’s Apron, Green Hair Weed.


Maaijke Middelbeek, on the road again, live photosynthesis performance



Full installation with:



Upper aquarium: bladderwrack, gutweed, green hair weed, water, marine salt, LED lights

In the middle: diatoms and nannochloropsis salina, loudspeaker, microphones,

cables, tubes, pump, oxygen masks, paper mouthpieces, LED lights

Below: bladderwrack, toothed wrack, water, marine salt, wood,

LED lights,recycled bottles. Framing galvanised steel

waterpipes - partly recycled.



Maaijke Middelbeek, live photosynthesis performance, on the road again, Künstlerhaus Wien


Algae - micro and macro algae - produce over fifty percent of our atmosphere’s oxygen. Statistically every second breath you take is produced by alga. In turn, they metabolize the carbon dioxide you exhale. There is a continuous cycle of matter between your body and the algae in the waterways of the planet.





You and algae are inseparably connected


Maaijke Middelbeek, Live Photosynthesis Performance, Through ooze and slime, phytoreactor, interspecies communication


Visitor blowing out CO2 in the algae tank, effecting the sound of photosynthesis.

For a further sound impression - see video below or for the sound of photosynthesis,

use the link at the beginning of the page.



The sound you hear is the fizzing and fizzling

of photosynthesizing algae otherwise inaudible

to the human ear, each sound an encounter between

your breath and the chlorophyll-containing algae

cells, the transformation of light into chemical

energy and the crescendo of gas metamorphosis.




Video for a sound impression (best in HD)




Blow out in the machine and sing with the algae!



By blowing out CO2 in the tank the visitor becomes part of the algae's

photosynthesis performance - their participation effects the sound of

this biochemical process, that we made audible for the human ear




Bioreactive Sounddesign:Paul Gründorfer

Sound of photosynthesis: Karl Stirner

Maaijke Middelbeek, Live Photosynthesis Performance, Through ooze and slime, phytoreactor, oxygen generator, symbiocene



Interactive object

             for interspecies communication





Details in the aquariums:

Right - lower aquarium in the installation

with Bladderwrack, condensation


Below - inside the upper aquarium:

Bladderwrack, Gutweed and Green Hair weed


Seaweeds that I collected July 2022 at the North Sea coast - Vrouwenpolder and Neeltje Jans, Zeeland NL 

Seaweeds have to deal with the flood tide, with ebb and flow, and are used to periods of drought. The moment I put the dried seaweeds in the water (that I collected months before at the North Sea Coast in the Netherlands) they start to revive and release oxygen again. Not finding themselves in their natural habitat, a few days after they start to decay. Why I only showed the installation in Zagreb for 7 days.



The seaweeds made a choreography 


                            on the sound of photosynthesis

Below part of


 Das LOT, Anker Brotfabrik Vienna 



Tank with Chlorella Algae

cultivated with Alexander Kaptejna, department of Phycology, UBB Vienna


Full installation in Das LOT Anker Brotfabrik


Algae after transport

                      to Zagreb


Nannochloropsis for in the aquarium tank, Zagreb 2023