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2016 MicroBioMe (under construction)

ISEA 2016 HOng Kong (download pdf) MicroBioMe - a mad hatter’s tea party

Collaboration with:
Mick Lorusso
Jennifer Nikolov(a)
Joel Ong

MicroBioMe is a joint installation directed by an interventionist strategy that has been conceived from an intense and fruitful online dialogue and brainstorming through which the group of artists discussed and delineated the idea – Mick Lorusso, from the UCLA Art|Sci Center and Lab, Joel Ong, PhD student at DXARTS, Jennifer Nikolov(a), responsible for the project Labyrinth Psychotica. The basic premise of MicroBioMe is to install a toilet sink in a collective exhibition space – the scenario for an interactive video installation. Reflection on the fact that simple daily life eating habits reconfigures our microbiota, the team invites visitors to design and play with their health by engaging with an intervention that influences their microbiome. By touching a 3D modeled object that resembles a soap bar, samples of the visitor hands’s microbial population are collected and can be instantaneously visualized when the visitor returns the ‘soap’ to its support by the sink and the image in microscale is capture by a microscope usb camera installed on the top of the support, in superposition to his/her image captured by the webcamera of a LCD that works as a ‘cross-scale mirror’ The artists idea is to play with the narratives of fear and infection, providing perspective and awareness towards what is at stake with the ritual of hand washing. When we forget to wash our hands, are we participating in healthy or unhealthy behavior, wanted or unwanted?