Homo[+]/Homo 2, Phase 2
Human intestines are home to a rich ecosystem made up of trillions of microorganisms. This community, known as the gut flora or microbiota, directly affects brain activity and many bodily systems. Human hosts directly affect their bacterial inhabitants through diet and lifestyle. In this complex system, humans and their microbiota co-shape one another. The human is no longer a singular organism; the human is instead a complex community.
Homo [+]/Homo 2, Phase 2: is an installation that activates human bodies as partially open, interspecies systems. Through the act of interspecies eating, humans shape internal and external microbial environments, simultaneously shaping the human.
Internal: Humans purchase interspecies candies from a coin-operated machine. The candies are enriched with dehyrdrated prebiotics (nutrition for the gut bacteria), from vegetable sources: leek, garlic, onion and kale. As humans eat the candy, they feed their bacterial co-inhabitants.
External: The interspecies candy is wrapped in conductive paper. When it dispenses it completes a circuit, activating various environmental shifters which directly affect the growth of bacteria contained within a glass box. The environmental shifters include: heat lamp, UV lamp, humidifier. The bacteria sample is taken from the floor of the gallery.
The work was later exhibited at the Wassaic Summer Festival-- see documentation: Homo[+]/Homo 2, Phase 3.
<-- Listen to an interview with Clocktower Radio about the project here. A description of the project starts at 03:35
Special thanks to the Wassaic Project, Nomadique, Pioneer Works and Clocktower Radio for making this project possible.