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milieu #01-04

Materials and media

Performance with human feet, voice, text, urban ground. Living sculpture with bacteria, human microflora, molds, yeast, peptone, Agar agar.


#alive #growing #posthuman #smelly #trans-species

The performance consists of a text written and recited by myself, the site-specific use of architecture in the space, the imprinting of my nude feet into a prepared LB medium, a walk around urban space with bare feet, the imprinting of these feet into the other side of the LB medium. Will my microbiome differ from the milieu of the environment?

“…we can no longer think of ourselves as the only organizing agencies at work in the larger world within which we live out our lives; other agencies than the “one” we each (mis)name as “I” are at work within us, and all around us.”

In a room there are not only humans present but also the millions of bacteria and other organisms populating the outside and inside of us. …

Welcome to the Anthropocene, the era that we humans have made. Our imprint on nature so deep and violent, that auto-destruction seems irreversible. Yet, let’s try to change perspective by looking at the world from a non-human centristic viewpoint. posthuman theory questions the “exceptionalism” of the human as a transcendental category. Instead, it establishes an alliance with the immanent power of Zoé, the animal, the nonhuman side of life. …

Even the simplest question are also the most difficult when asked in front of the background of the microbiome. Not only philosophically but also biologically. The human microbiome is a perfect example of how biology and philosophy merge to existential investigations.

Who am I? Am I we?

For the performance I used my feet as a tool for imprinting and collected the spheres, rods and spirals from the surrounding outside (Umwelt) for allowing bacteria to reproduce and grow. Results were seen in the days after when bacteria started to grow and shape of feet formed in the medium.

[1] Shotter, John: »Agential realism, social constructionism, and our living relations to our surroundings. Sensing similarities rather than seeing patterns«, in: Theory & Psychology 24 (2014), S. 306


  • 2019 ECO vs. EGO, Galerie Eigenheim Berlin (DE)
  • 2018-19 Spektrum, Museum of Modern Art Moscow (MMOMA), Russia (RU)
  • 2018 Between Studio and Laboratory / Zwischen Atelier und Labor, curated by Marco Hompes. 24.06. – 03.10. 2018 | Museum Villa Rot
  • 2017 pilote : milieu, CLB im Aufbau Haus Berlin (DE)


Artist: Theresa Schubert
Assistance: Tea Dezman