Starter Cultures, 2017
HD video loop, 43” screen, speakers, printed fabric.
7 min 45 sec loop, 2 x 3 x 2 m
Installation view at Generación 2018, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, 2018


Starter Cultures documents the invisible work that non-human agents (microbes, bacteria, yeast and fungi) perform in the food industry. The project moves us to a small integrated manufacturing plant, where a change in the facilities triggers a strike among the microbes responsible for a large part of the production process.

The aim is to propose use artistic practice and neo-materialist theories to rethink the fields of work and production, not as places of exploitation and domination, but as platforms from which it is possible to question the radical separation between nature and culture that has defined our Modernity, and propose alternatives to the current development model.


The project is presented in the form of a video installation articulated around a central video, hybrid of documentary, scientific image and digital animation, using elements extracted from the industrial sphere, scientific and historic studies of fermentation processes to expand the contents of the video to the exhibition space.

Video Excerpt:
Detail of the 3D animation interacting with the protagonist.

Cameras: Eleanor Mortimer + Edmund Cook
Effects: Fran Meana + Pelayo Rodríguez
Sound and Editing: Fran Meana

Acknowledgments: Todd Trethowan, Maugan Trethowan, Ben Ticehurst, Lucy Menter and all the staff of Trethowan’s Dairy.