We are many – an ecosystem of trillion bodies
We are an ecosystem of trillion bodies. This is the general idea contained in the concept of the ‘holobiont’. A holobiont is an ecological unit consisting of a ‘host organism’ – animal, plant or fungi – and the associated microbes, viruses and smaller holobionts living in and on it. The ecological, evolutionary and daily dynamics of holobionts have reached new interests among several big scientific disciplines. But how can these unseen vibrant exchanges between species be explored on a sensorial and emotional level? What are the possibilities in understanding the concept by working from the intersection between art, food and science? These are the central questions for the interdisciplinary performance project Sensing Holobiont – Flavourful Rituals for Metabolic Companions.
Our holobiont selves
By combining novel gastronomy, interactive installation and microbiome research, the work asks: How might a multisensorial ceremony help us to recognize and realise our holobiont selves? And how might this realization change our relationship to our bodies, to eating, and to planetary health? Through a series of edible encounters, the live events examines the various holobiont concepts such as symbiosis, cometabolism, exchange, and transformation, and invites the visitors to explore the act of feeding the many.
Continued metabolic afterlife
While the live events happened in January 2023, the microbial exchanges happening during the performances will continue their afterlife in the bodies of the visitors.
In terms of research, Medical Museion will now look into the visitor experiences during the live events.
If you have questions or are curious to learn more about the project, feel free to contact the project leader and main curator, Associate Professor Louise Whiteley, email@example.com, or contact the artists directly if you are interested to host an evolved version of Sensing Holobiont.
Sensing Holobiont – Flavourful Rituals for Metabolic Companions (In danish)