Artisanal Cheeses Created From Human Body Bacteria Samples

Artisanal Cheeses Created From Human Body Bacteria Samples
Arts & Culture

Selfmade explores the art and science of cheesemaking.

Yi Chen
  • 25 october 2013

Christina Agapakis and Sissel Tolaas have created a unique installation that explores microbial ecology. Selfmade is a series of  “microbial sketches” that takes a closer look at art-science by using cheese as a medium. Every cheese is different and is grown from a sample of the human body, for example swabs from hands, feet, noses, and even armpits.


The samples are then inoculated into fresh, pasteurized whole milk and incubated overnight in a controlled warm temperature. The milk curds are then strained and pressed to produce unique smelling cheeses.

The aim of the project is to challenge us to rethink our relationship with bacteria and biotechnology. Agapakis explains that, “We not only live in a biological world surrounded by rich communities of microorganisms, but in a cultural world that emphasizes total antisepsis.”


Selfmade is part of the Grow Your Own exhibition at the Dublin Science Gallery. The exhibit opened on 25 October and will continue until 19 January, 2014.



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