Solo Exhibition at Galerija Na Katu, Zagreb, HR

Maaijke Middelbeek, Through ooze and slime, On the Road Again, Reactive Fungi Wearable, Maaijke Middelbeek, Fungi art, Becoming with, SF,  Symbiocene


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...

to become closer to fungi

                           Real close


The Reactive Fungi Bodysuit was

connected to Pleurotus Eryngii 

here in a sensory membrane


Sensory membrane, electronic patches,

cables, mycelium filaments and mycelium heart



plug in

sense the fungi while they sense you


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


Mycelium knitting in the soil, at the opening, 10 days after starting the culture


humus, soil, white button mushroom culture, oyster mushrooms

wood, plastic, cables and tubes, LED light


Mycelium Motherboard, detail

The mycelium was colonizing the soil and mushrooms were growing

during the exhibition from Jan. 18th - 31st


photo taken on Jan. 29th

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 to form a network of mycelium





___      ------     ___________________     -------------                                    




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







King trumpet mushrooms were growing during the exhibition 

from January 18th - 31st


Photo taken Jan. 30th when they were already air drying

because I wanted to preserve them for Künstlerhaus


                during the exhibition



Almost two weeks earlier.. on the day of the exhibition opening on Jan. 18th


plugging in with:

Pleurotus eryngii, cables, breadboard, bricks


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 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    ------