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The Greater Gut

The Greater Gut Happiness Bacteria

Project team: MEMO Group, UGhent Matthijs De Block

Location: Design Museum Ghent

Year: 2022

‘The Greater Gut – happiness Bacteria’ focuses on the topic of bacterial genetic modification as a replacement of the concept of externalised happiness. What does being happy mean in a productised society?

A e-coli gut bacteria is genetically modified so that it can produce serotonin in combination with a red fluorescent protein. The bacteria lives in an installation that acts as a mechanical reenactment of the human gut, a bioreactor enclosed in metal and glass.

The bacteria, the serotonin and the fluorescent protein are then mixed into a pink bacterial haze that is sprayed onto panels. I see these objects as a portrait of happiness.