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 was presented at the Hacking Arts festival at the MIT Media Lab, Wisconsin’s Fermentation Fest, and the 2016 Boston Fermentation Fest.

Here’s the original documentation video from the first version at the MIT Hacking Arts festival:

4 thoughts on “Fermentophone

  1. Hi Joshua,
    I presume the coils around the fermentation tubes
    are connected to the sound generation chip as
    note keyers, and not that the actual sound comes from that coil. Is that how this works?
    I suppose you might do the same with the coil signal going to a midi output chip with note and velocity, that goes to a midi synth for a whole array of sounds.
    Anyway, nice work.


  2. I’m so proud that my son’s artistic research is on the leading edge of cultural fermentation. Keep flourishing, O Josh!

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