We present the installation ‘Meta_bolus’ by Saša Spačal and Mirjan Švagelj. Meta_bolus embodies the planetary metabolic process as a fragile dynamic of substances in a continuous balancing flow. The installation is a loving exploration of the smell of rain which is partly caused by the Streptomyces Bacteria that emits the seducing aroma geosmin; a single sniff of which can evoke the memory of a forest after rain.
The Streptomyces bacteria also produces antibiotics, therefore the aroma of wet leaves is intertwined with the history of the use of antibiotics and the human resistance to it. Although a little bit of antibiotics can be a powerful medicine, when it is used too much we become resistant.
The central laboratory structure of the installation performs human production of antibiotics from the Streptomyces rimosus bacteria, which also excrete volatile molecules of earthy geosmin aroma. In the Meta_bolus the antibiotics together with volatile molecules of geosmin are returned back to the soil as a gesture of giving back the excess of human takings.
Are we able to smell the rising resistance to antibiotics?