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Holobionte. Bioart laboratory on the ecosystem that we are.

Updated: Jun 28


Place: Prosa del Mundo

Duration: 4 hours


Critical and Experimental Thinking Conference

Organized by Prosa del Mundo


Bioart laboratory about the ecosystem that we are

"We have never been human" (Haraway). A few decades ago, microbiologist Lynn Margulis completely transformed the way we understood evolution and the origin of the wonderful biodiversity that exists on earth. Her proposal led us to understand that diverse forms of life not only cooperate to survive but also encounter each other to generate other forms of life, this is symbiogenesis. Multicellular organisms like us emerge from a network of a large number of microorganisms, and even macroorganisms, that make up the ecosystem that we are, a holobionte. In this laboratory we explore this association of organisms that we are, while creating other ways of understanding and relating to each other and to the nature of which we are a part.


In the laboratory "Holobionte" we are collectively creating a bio-art installation about that indeterminate form of life that we are, which far from being an individual, emerges from the intra-connection of ecosystems at different scales.

We are using petri dishes with nutrient agar to cultivate some of those fungi and bacteria that shape us, to explore them and to talk about how these new/other understandings of the living can also transform our politics, the ways in which we narrate and create our intra-living relationships.

Even more beautiful, in a space like Prosa del Mundo, which, like us, proposes that other ways of thinking, understanding and narrating be created in a situated and communitarian way. With this laboratory we propose in "Intensidad y altura" that the undisciplinary explorations that go beyond the arts and sciences, also have space in alternative forms of pedagogy and political thought.

Fotos por Mutante y Prosa del Mundo


These are some of the samples we grew in the Holobionte lab.

After a week of growth we can see the colonies of bacteria and fungi, which we talked about in our previous encounter, those that also shape us.

We left some Petri dishes open on the corner of 19th St. and 43rd St. (image 9) and another one inside the bookstore, to have a record of the environment, and each participant took a sample from his or her body: from the skin of the arm (image 3 - left), from the cheekbones (image 6), from the saliva (image 6), from the saliva (image 7), from the mouth (image 8) and from the mouth (image 8). ), saliva (img.7), fingerprints (img.8), the inside of the eyelids, or some elements that we use daily, a water bottle (img.3 - right), a notebook (img.4 - left), the cell phone or cat hairs and grass on the clothes (img.4-right/img.5).

The Petri dishes allowed us to bring the microcosm that we are to the macroworld.

Photos by Mutante

Experimentation to magnify images of microorganisms that grew.

On computer and cellular screens, with analog and digital projectors, with digital stereoscopes/microscopes, paper microscopes, magnifying glasses, and with a laser, we magnified the cultures in Petri dishes, some samples of bacterial and fungal colonies, and water droplets.

Photos by Mutante


Laura Castellanos

Verónica Muñoz

Slenka Botello

Katerine Cerquera

Miguel Tellez

Juan Sebastián Ramírez

Nicolás Ramírez

Viviana Bernal

Juliana Flórez

Álvaro José Claro

Mario León


In charge of Mutante - Juan Diego Rivera, Natalia Rivera

Organized together with Prosa del Mundo

Within the framework of the Critical and Experimental Thinking Conference Intensidad y altura

Project connected to the Suratómica Network

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