Jorge Costa

Artist Statement

Morphic Resonance – Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes

This work investigates two common species of bacteria found in the human microbiota (Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes) and the hypothesis of “Morphic Resonance” developed by Biologist Rupert Sheldrake. According to Sheldrake “Morphic resonance” is a process whereby self-organizing systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems. In its most general formulation, morphic resonance means that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits…and biological inheritance need not all be coded in the genes, or epigenetic modifications of the genes…thus each individual inherits a collective memory from past members of the species, and also contributes to the collective memory, affecting other members of the species in the future.” ( Sheldrake’s hypothesis of “Morphic Resonance” as a conduit for accessing our collective memory could also be extended to the millions of symbiotic relationships between the human host and his/her microflora as a complex co-evolutionary process. Furthermore, the work developed by Eugene Rosenberg and Ilana Zilber-Rosenberg explores the hologenome’s theory of gene co-evolution stating that “…the object of genomic natural selection is not a single organism, but the organism and its microbial communities…New discoveries about changes in host fitness with alterations in gut flora such as research dealing with pathogenic growth of C. difficile in the human intestine suggests that the genomes of host-dwelling microbes must be taken into account along with that of the host when evaluating environmental selection pressures (Sharon et al., 2010 as cited in

Questions such as: What is consciousness? Where does our concept of “self” begin and where does it end concerning our micro-flora? if co-evolutionary processes have made possible the interchange of energy through symbiotic relationships by causing gene morphosis, how are we a separate entity from the trillions of bacteria and fungi that exist in our bodies?

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