Fermentophone is a multi-sensory installation in which an algorithmically generated musical composition is performed by living cultures of bacteria and yeast. The installation comprises a series of different vessels containing actively fermenting foodstuffs and beverages, wired with electronic sensors. Each colorful, odorous, and edible ferment has its own musical vocabulary which is expressed according to microbial activity.
The installation has been presented in various versions at the Hacking Arts festival at the MIT Media Lab, Wisconsin’s Farm/Art DTour, the Boston Fermentation Fest, Expo ’74 at MASS MoCA, and the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
Here’s the original documentation video from the first version at the MIT Hacking Arts festival: