Microbiome Rebirth Incubator

François-Joseph Lapointe & Marianne Cloutier

How can the moment of birth shape future health?

Our bodies contain a huge array of microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, known together as the microbiome. Canadian biologist and artist Francois-Joseph Lapointe and art historian Marianne Cloutier have developed the Microbiome Rebirth Incubator, an installation exploring the microbial transfer between mother and child at the moment of birth.

The project symbolically explores the possibility of enhancing the microbiome by seeding babies with the mother’s bacteria, gathered from breastmilk or vaginal microbes.

As part of this installation, we have created a private baby-feeding space in the gallery. Join us to listen to the experiences of giving birth around the world and share your own.

About the contributor(s) 

François-Joseph Lapointe is an artscientist from Montréal with a PhD in evolutionary biology and a PhD in dance and performance studies. As a scientist, he has published 120 papers ranging from population genetics to metagenomics. As an artist, he is currently sequencing his microbiome (and that of his wife) to produce microbiome selfies.

Marianne Cloutier is an art historian specialised in bioart. She is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences at Université de Montréal. She is interested in the ethical, political, social and philosophical issues that emerge from the integration of the living in art, and the appropriation of the scientific tools, techniques and knowledge by the artist.