Project: Antal Ruhl

Mold Fight

A battle to the death of mold vs. mold

Can you beat the slime mold?


boxing petri dish - Bacteria and fungus ready to fight. This image is part of the Mold Fight installation in the Paddestoelen Paradijs exhibition. Abel

Our newest installation at the Paddestoelen Paradijs exhibition is a tiny stadium where we will pit our visitor's bacteria against the elusive and extremely intelligent slime mold. How will your bacteria stand up against slime mold that has been grown and cultivated in the lab? The lab is put against the real world in this microscopic battle.

The Stadium

All the mold fights will take place in a special stadium designed especially for the mold battles. The stadium will be filled with agar, which is a gel-like material on which micro-organisms are usually grown. Each fight will be documented with a time-lapse video, so there will be no question as to which mold won each battle.


Mold fight stadium - This is the stadium where slime mold will battle the bacteria of our visitors. This installation is part of Paddestoelen Paradijs. Antal Ruhl

The Mold

During Museum Nacht 2011, we collected the bacterial and fungal imprints of our visitors on petri-dishes and made it into a collaborative installation. We let our visitor's bacteria grow, but lately it's been sitting around waiting patiently for its day in the spotlight, and now its time has come! We will take the bacteria from the petri-dishes and put it on some fresh agar to grow strong for each match.

The opponent to our visitor's bacteria will be slime mold. Slime molds are intelligent enough to find their way towards food through complex mazes, to design highway and rail networks, and even to control robots. The slime mold is a worthy opponent to any bacteria that we can bring into the battle ground of the stadium.


Cultivating slime mold in the lab - Artist, Antal Ruhl, is cultivating slime mold in the Mediamatic clean room. This is for the Mold Fight installation, which is part of the Paddestoelen Paradijs exhibition. Simone Schoutens

With: Antal Ruhl

The Fight

Every week a new set of mold and bacteria, taken from one of the bio-sample dishes of our museum night visitors will be put to battle with the slime mold that we grow in the lab.

These slow, drawn-out, and often torturous battles will last about a week before the true winner comes out on top. If your bacteria wins the battle you can come to the Mediamatic Bank and celebrate your victory with a free beer.

This is a video of slime mold spreading in the design of the Tokyo rail network.

More information

If we have your bacteria sample, but you didn't get an email about participating in the mold fight, then please email Margarita to join the fight.

This installation is part of the Paddestoelen Paradijs exhibition.

Open daily from 13.00 - 19.00 and from 13.00 - 18.00 on the weekends. Single admission is €2.50 and €5.00 for a one month membership. The membership gives you unlimited access to the exhibition for one month and a discount for the Ignite Amsterdam and salon events.

Vijzelstraat 68, 1017 HL Amsterdam.


romaine's bio-sample after 3 weeks - This sample is part of the Petri Dish Wall installation . Paddestoelen Paradijs exhibition, Mediamatic Bank 2011. This picture was taken with the Mediamatic Mobile ikCam .