by Inigo del Castillo in New Food and Packaging on Wednesday 4 December 2013

Would you like some human tears and belly button bacteria with your wine, sir? Selfmade is an exhibition featuring cheese cultured from human tears and belly button bacteria collected from the artists and scientists themselves. Side note: I wonder how they forced themselves to tear up. Did they watch The Notebook with test tubes in hand? Anyway!

The exhibit tries to explore the skin’s ecosystem and tries to educate us about our relationship with living organisms that exist in our food and body. They hope to one day know more about how we can use these common organisms as synthetic microbes.

They also had a wine and cheese pairing event, where guests were encouraged to smell the cheese. Sampling was not allowed, though even if it were allowed, we believe that no one would really have had the appetite to do so. On the odour of the cheese, artist Christina Agapakis tells Dezeen, ‘We were surprised by how not only do cheese and smelly body parts like feet share similar odour molecules but also have similar microbial populations’.