Microbes are trending.  Not only on Twitter but in Research Laboratories worldwide. They make up a staggering 60% of life on our planet and have, in the past decade, become recognized as the possible “golden ticket” to curing some of the most debilitating human diseases as well as ameliorating current and future environmental crises. It is no wonder they are receiving so much attention.

This project will consider how domestic animals facilitate the exchange of microbes into our intimate spaces and whether or not they make us healthier for it. As an embedded artist and researcher at the Arts and Design Research Incubator (ADRI), College of Arts and Architecture, I will approach this topic through collaborative, interdisciplinary avenues; exploring ways in which different disciplines can command a deeper understanding of these microbial migrations.

“Microbial Migrations” will look at the microbial composition of multispecies households in rural and semi urban communities in Central Pennsylvania. Homes without domestic animals will be used as a control to compare findings in households with domestic animals and family farms. Through the use of documentary film and microbial samplings we will create a portrait of these family ecologies and encourage conversation about the relationships we share with our animals and how they influence our health and wellbeing.

Interspecies Microbial Migrations movie trailer