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Would you sleep for love? 

Looking for volunteers for a project exploring the role of scent in sleep and happiness.

Surface Markers (Selfie on 10/18/2013)

Surface Markers


I'm always interested in new ways of getting to know ourselves and each other that don't involve looking at a face.  In this project, I invite you to consider what the objects you are carrying with you, right at this moment, may say about who you are, where you've been and where you are.  The collection now includes photos from all over the world, from Paris to NYC to Saigon and São Paulo!

Click to visit the site

2013 in review

Other Self Portraits


Part of the Invisible You - the Human Microbiome exhibit at the Eden Project and funded by the Wellcome Trust, these "bellybutton" portraits capture the non-human part of ourselves.  

Pictures from Strange Science are going up now - see if yours is already there!


What is this project?

Visit the online gallery

upcoming & recent events


The Bridge, Sciart Center, NYC

Developing Voulez-vous coucher pour moi? with Pooneh Hesmati, MD PhD.

See Residency blog >



Other Selves: a microbial portrait of Raleigh

by Carla Burgess

NC Naturalist

Fall 2016


14 Emerging Women Artists to Watch in 2017

by Sarah Cascone


December 21, 2016


Group Selfie: Raleigh and You and Bellybutton portraits

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

October 2016


Carapaus de Corrida

Annual Forum of PAPS, NY September 2016


Petri Dish Portraits Of The Belly Button's Bacteria

by Tom Hale

February 25, 2016 



Navel gazing: portraits of the bacteria in our belly buttons – in pictures

The Guardian, Feb 24 2016

See article

Identidades híbridas: explorando individualidade e conetividade através do microbioma (Hybrid identities: exploring individuality and connectivity through the microbiome)

by Joana Ricou and Rob R. Dunn

Midas Museus e Estudos Interdisciplinares

See article

news/blog posts
The value of art to science

Your Wildlife blog, by Rub Dunn June 4th, 2015


Artists Reveal the Bacterial Beauty of the Human Microbiome,

by Shanacy Ferro, Mental Floss, June 23, 2015


Ideas City, New Museum New York City

Presenting Surface Markers with Renato Diz, presented by Arte Institute, May 2015

Invisible You, new exhibit at Eden Projects, UK

Wellcome Trust commission "Bellybutton portraits," May 2015 - 2020 

Surface Markers in Paris

Talk and installation at Maison du Portugal, Cité Internacionale Universitaire May 2015

Making History, Storefront Gallery NYC

April 2015

Back in Situ

Art show at Centotto Gallery, Brooklyn NY December 2014

Closing reception Jan 30!

Biocoder: new paper published!

I just published a new paper on the microbiome project on the new DIY/BIO O'Reilly journal. 

Check it here (free download) >>

Surface Markers: Around the World

I have been travelling around the work South East Asia - Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and more, collecting Surface Markers along the way.  

September 26, Centro Cultural de São Paulo, BR, presented by Arte Institute. See photos>>

Other Landscapes 
Art and science research project looking at the microlandscapes of New York and around the world.  

Artist in residence project at the PathoMap, Weill Cornell Medical Center.  

In collaboration with Genspace, the first community research lab in New York.

See more >>


Bellybutton portraits

Collaboration with Dr. Holly Menninger and Dr. Rob Dunn of, North Carolina State University

October, 2014 at the North Carolina Natural Science Museum

See more >>



The Next Page / CMU Classroom innovator brought science and art under same roof

by Elizabeth Finley, October 2014

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Read article



Featured Artist: Joana Ricou: Surface Markers Around the World

SlideLuck PotShow Global

Read article

Summer nights with Renato Diz and Joana Ricou

Presented by Arte Institute, Union Square

Rare Occurrences: a benefit for SanFilippo

McKittrick Hotel, NYC

Allô Portugal USA Special

Guest on talk show, SIC Internacional and SIC News

An artist's perspective on biological identity

And participation in panel Portugal beyond its borders, Cultural development. Portuguese-American Post-Graduate Society Annual Forum XV

HeLa Cells and Henrietta Lacks: Us and ourselves

Horace Mann High School, NYC

One, no one and one hundred thousand: an artistic study on the science of memory
Center of Neuroscience and Molecular Biology, Coimbra
The body multiple

Center for the Philosophy of Science at the University of Lisbon

HeLa cells and Henrietta Lacks, an artist's perspective on identity and multiplicity

A talk at 18th Annual HeLa Women's Health Conference, Morehouse School of Medicine Atlanta, GA

Past Tense, Future Imperfect

Curated by KJ Baysa, Art Share LA



Cartographies in the Feminine

Curated by Isabel Pavão, organized by Arte Institute


Where: Rogue Space Gallery

When: Saturday, Oct 26 from 4 - 7 pm


"Portuguese Women in America," by Arte Institute celebrates the role of the Portuguese women in the American society. Celebrations will take place during the month of October in New York, through a series of events that include lectures, talks, screenings, artists exhibition and concerts.


This night's event highlights arts and music and includes artists Rita Barros; Margarida Correia; Isabel Pavão; Maria Clara Pereira; Joana Ricou, and performances by jazz singer Sara Serpa.


More info (click "Portuguese Women in America")





Systems Festival 2013


DecadesOut launches its 2013-2014 events season with an open-bar fundraising party:

Where: Art Directors Club gallery in NYC, 106 W. 29th St. between 6th and 7th Ave.

When: 7 - 11 pm

Featuring a very special half-hour performance at 9:30 pm by Caelum Music Production’s amazing singer Cáthia, the “little girl with the big voice” who sang her way to prominence on season four of NBC’s “The Voice”. 

Performing at 8:30 pm will be Caelum’s singer/songwriter Elizabeth Sullivan, whose vocal stylings have been compared to Sara McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, and Eva Cassidy. 

Events for the upcoming season, under the banner the "Systems Festival", will include the Third Annual Science of Horror Film Festival, the Launch Pad Theatre Development Series, and the Documentary Film Lab. Events will also present work from filmmakers, visual artists, technologists, mainstream chefs and musical entertainers with panel discussions, exhibitions and live performance. 

In honor of the Science of Horror Film Festival, the fundraiser is also an optional Halloween Party where guests are welcome to dress the part.


Get tickets here




Gowanus Open Studios


The new project "Surface portraits" that debuted during Bushwick Open Studios 2013, will be at DecadesOut studio for the Gowanus Open Studios on October 19-20th.



Um, Nenhum e Cem Mil (One, No One and One Hundred Thousand

Edge Arts, Lisboa Portugal

Joana Ricou, copyright 2013

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