Earlier event

Welcome to The Secretome (Trondheim)

Monday, September 11

Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.) and the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology invite you to join us in a radical extension of hospitality toward some of our oldest, most vital, and least-recognized friends: ancient microbial allies who live in our midst, essential but unseen, most often unappreciated or scorned.

This site-specific, performative workshop invites a limited number of participants to immerse in and explore the domestic/wild environs of a Trondheim microbiome. Here, within an assemblage of entangled beasts (bacteria, plants, and other untold others), we will explore both imaginative and practical ways to extend radical welcome to microbes and other unseen lives abiding within, among, and all around: throughout bodies, homes, and genomes. As it happens, we may depend on these invisible allies more than we ever reckoned possible.

As unseen allies work “behind the scenes” to sustain biomes of all kinds, it is high time we get better acquainted with these little-known associates. Somewhat abashedly (since microbes, after all, already outnumber human body cells 10-to-1), we will gather in a dusty, dirty, wildly microbilicious landscape to welcome and celebrate common histories and present/future well-beings of tiny, invisible kin who make us who, what, and how we are.

This two-hour, site-specific workshop builds on a model developed by artist Karin Bolender and associates in the environs of the Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.) Farm in Philomath, Oregon, USA. The original workshop featured Domestic/Wild artist Emily Stone and help from Oregon State University’s Microbiology Department. In Trondheim, LABAE will lead participants in exploration and a collective experiment: together and in our own special ways, we will explore and map traces of invisible lives through moving bodies (seen and unseen) and flowing muds, grasses, and rhizomes of a specific environment, each seeking what we need and desire by following a mysterious “treasure map” drawn by microscopic Bacillus, cultured from the tongue of Aliass (wise and lovely grand-dam of the R.A.W. ass herd). After this adventure, we will share a Feast of the Muzzle Tongue, where we will eat, drink, and make merry with various bacterial companions, making spaces for more inclusive multispecies stories with some of our newest, oldest friends.


Limited participants. RSVP to contact(at)labae.org


Photo: Andrea Pontoppidan

Photo: Andrea Pontoppidan

Photo: Andrea Pontoppidan