Symbiosis: a mother diary

with viviane


/Symbiosis: a mother diary/ documents the experience and thoughts of two young women and their slime mold child. The diary documents the growth of Vina Garcia Morais, the slime mold we gave birth to, and reflects about this “caring system” that is always expected on us (women). We sign the "family contract" to care, feed, protect and love, putting our efforts to keep them alive and support them in their own journeys.

Being regularly questioned by our families about our plans to have children, specially because our ovules are in their "healthiest phase" at this age we're in, we never know if our ability to take care is something natural of our personalities or if it was imposed on us so we could be better mothers. Considering the diary as a literature genre that gives place to a regular input of honest confessions, we see this medium as an appropriate way to share our thoughts letting it clear that every statement there is profoundly personal and "unfinished".

The diary

For the full size pdf, see file


Maternal bond, biological clock, unconditional love are terms inherently attached to parenthood, especially when talking about the mother-child relationship. With this project we question how much the weight of its terms' meanings is on real feelings - and this almost magical environment created around the idea of motherhood - and how much it is actually related to society laws and social pressure.

technical aspects

During the phase of getting to know Vina (our child) we'll try to understand their preferences such as food, music and space preferences. For example, we already know that Vina loves kinder bueno but is not that into broccoli. With these "experiments" we shall observe our own feelings on the process and the discoveries to share them in the diary.

*Slime mold 
*Medium plastic dish
*Normal oats
*Gluten-free oats
*Kinder bueno
*1 week
*dark spaces

As we didn't have our previous slime molds, we asked Nicolas to be our baby's grandfather and give us a bit of his slime mold. Being always so kind, he provided us not only a whole new petri dish full of a living blob but also a dry one that we could bring back to life with water if necessary.

aesthetic approach

The diary contains a mixture of Viviane's photographs and Carolina's drawings, both being our point of view about our baby's growth. The journaling experience takes place in a period of one week, being this week what we could call the childhood of the slime mold and the moment where we're having our first steps as mothers. During this time we share our duties so each day one of us is responsible for feeding, observing from time to time, documenting and giving attention in general to our blob.

Within the imagetic documentation, we write down our thoughts and feelings while taking care of Vina.



biolab winter 21/22 (covid still around us)

some thoughts and slow ideas

start ::: why i'm here

biology was my little big "trauma" on high school. it was the class that i needed to memorize a lot of names - and my memory is quite bad. this weird educational dynamic made me have super bad grades, and because of that i was always afraid of failing the year. for 3 years i was waiting "the call" in december about the professors decision: "ok you didn't have grade enough in biology, but you are a good student. you can continue your studies and don't need to repeat this year ".

my mom is pedagogue, my father is a chemical engineer really into bacterias, and the school was one of the most expensive schools in my city (probably in brazil too). huge privilege. it was a lot of emotional pressure and somehow this insecurity follows me until nowadays. the fear of not being enough, the fear of failing.

but the biology book was my favorite one. it wasn't in a4 format, good quality paper, unique smell, heavy and with a lot of beautiful images.

i decided to take this class to explore what i was always curious in biology: the experimentation, the aesthetics, the connection of thoughts.

////////// experiment letter a //////////


during the first class i felt a bit overwhelmed with so many new informations, and since the beginning i was obsessed with the complexity system and pleasant aesthetics of the slime molds. while the other students were learning about euglena, i was trying to add colors on my experiments and playing with different food configurations.

sometimes my learning process is slow, and i'm trying to respect that. so in this first month i decided to observe the behavior of my 5 experiments (with no intervention) and read + watch videos about it.


before vs after

Biolab .001 .jpeg Biolab .002 .jpeg Biolab .003.jpeg Biolab .004.jpeg Biolab .005.jpeg

microscope view


  • 05 slime mode medium plastic dish
  • 03 food color pigments
  • normal oats
  • microscope
  • 0.5 pen
  • notebook


hand-made drawings through observation