For his most recent artistic project, François-Joseph Lapointe sequences his microbiome to produce metagenomic self-portraits called Microbiome Selfies, which illustrate the metamorphosis of his bacterial self.
For the performance 1000 Handshakes, Lapointe will shake hands with visitors to the opening night of transmediale, gradually changing the invisible microbial community in the palm of his hand. Periodically, assistants will take a sample from his skin. The DNA of this microbiome will be analyzed to reveal how our contact with others changes who we are. The data collected during this performance will then be used to generate Microbiome Selfies, shown in the exhibition The Other Selves: On the Phenomenon of the Microbiome at Art Laboratory Berlin (opening 26 February 2016), curated by Regine Rapp and Christian de Lutz (Art Laboratory Berlin).