1000 Handshakes — Towards an Aesthetics of the Microbiome

With Martin Hartmann, Sophie Hoyle, Stefan Schumacher and Theresa Züger

Fri, Feb 5, 2016
Hirschfeld Bar
5–6.30 pm
Free admission

This talk will focus on François-Joseph Lapointe’s performance 1000 Handshakes, which will be carried out during transmediale’s opening night. During this experiment, Lapointe will shake hands with visitors, gradually changing the invisible microbial community in the palm of his hand.

The DNA of this microbiome, whose samples will be taken from his skin during the performance, will then be analyzed to reveal how our contact with others shapes the microbes between us, essentially changing who we are. The performance raises awareness through physical and social engagement, through acts of participation and exchange on social, individual, and microbial levels. The handshake, a basic and ancient act of networking, forms the beginning of a social, scientific, and artistic collaboration between the performer and the public.

Presented in cooperation with Art Laboratory Berlin.