Solo Exhibition at Galerija Na Katu, Zagreb, HR

Maaijke Middelbeek, Through ooze and slime, Symbiocene, Reactive Fungi Wearable, Fungi art, Becoming with, SF, Postanthropocene


Installation with: 

Reactive Fungi Bodysuit & Mycelium Motherboard, 2023





Slip on and plug in!

for parallel sensing with fungi



The Reactive Fungi Bodysuit is a human-fungus-machine interface, a bodysuit with a sensory membrane colonized with mycelium of filamentous fungi and equipped with embedded intelligent electronic patches for signal processing.


The Reactive Fungi Wearable is a user-responsive symbiotic system, able to sense and process information from a hosting body linked with the wearable ecological unit, connecting neural and fungal networks. Changing patterns of electrical activity and properties allow to interface mycelium with conventional electronics.




Find the full report with first findings on "What it is like to be a mushroom?" - as far as we could analyse the tickling sensations - further below on this page.


A human-fungus-machine interface...



The Reactive Fungi Bodysuit was

connected to Pleurotus Eryngii 

laying here in a sensory membrane


Sensory membrane, electronic patches,

cables, mycelium filaments and mycelium heart, LED light



plug in

sense the fungi while they sense you



Maaijke Middelbeek, Mycelium Motherboard, Reactive Fungi Wearable, Through ooze and slime


Mycelium of Agaricus bisporus spinning through the soil, here at the opening,

10 days after starting the culture


humus, soil, white button mushroom culture, oyster mushrooms

wood, plastic, cables and tubes, LED light

The dry exhibition space gave the fungi

a hard time to grow the sporing fruits 



The gallery staff was very involved and motivated,

to help the mushrooms grow. They tried to water

the motherboard as much as possible


Mycelium Motherboard


Mycelium of Agaricus bisporus (button mushrooms) was colonizing the soil and

mushrooms were growing during the exhibition from Jan. 18th - 31st


photo left taken on Jan. 29th in Zagreb,

photo right from my cultivation research

Maaijke Middelbeek, Through ooze and slime


Mycelium Motherboard


detail at the exhibition opening with Pleurotus ostreatus

(blue oyster mushroom) cables, tubes, Agaricus bisporus

culture (white button mushroom), soil, humus




Fungal hyphae

              knitting through

                                     a fresh layer of humus


Fungi can send electrical impulses underground through

long, thread-like structures called hyphae, which

expand and form a network of mycelium. The mycelium is

the fungal body, while the mushrooms are the fruits or

the organ that creates the reproductive spores. 








Report with findings on "What is it like to be a mushroom?"
Reactive Fungi Bodysuit Research.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 508.3 KB


Mycelium Motherboard 

fungal hyphae knitting through a layer of humus

close up

Below: Artist Maaijke Middelbeek wearing and testing the prototype of the Reactive Fungi Bodysuit. 


Left: for the report with the findings of "What it is like to be a mushroom" see PDF






The Mushroom

                at the end of the exhibition...


During the exhibition in Zagreb mushrooms were growing from the Mycelium Motherboard, even though the circumstances were not that mushroom friendly in January with a dry heated exhibition space and closed windows. So these white buttons appeared with a bit of a delay, but that's how it goes working with other organisms that have their own needs and pace and do not always stick to my timetable. 



I had planned to prepare a mushroom soup with kombu (algae) for everyone involved with the exhibition set-up in Zagreb, as a n interspecies exhibition closing ritual. Instead I transported some of the cultures back to Vienna where I could eat and share mushrooms for over 2 weeks. The others I donated to the Mushroom Museum in Zagreb where they freeze dried one of the cultures, that is now part of their mushroom collection and exhibition. 


SPORE ME ! .....



willing to receive spores*

photo & illustration






The space we live in is one of friction, of hybridity and entanglements. Anthropologist Anna Tsing writes "Everyone carries a history of contamination, purity is not an option."











*Spore: A small, usually single-celled reproductive body that is resistant to adverse environmental conditions and is capable of growing into a new organism, produced especially by certain fungi, algae, protozoans and nonseedbearing plants such as mosses and ferns.











An earlier interpretation of becoming with