Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday Wonder: The Fermentophone

According to its creator, Joshua Pablo Rosenstock, the Fermentophone "is a multi-sensory installation in which an algorithmically generated music composition is performed by living cultures of bacteria and yeast." It's made up of various vessels containing actively fermenting foodstuffs and beverages that have been wired with electronic sensors. The particular electronic "music" each ferment produces depends on the activity of the microbes in the vessel.

Rosentock presented his installation in 2013 at MIT Media Lab's inaugural "Hacking Arts Festival", now an annual event celebrating innovations in the creative arts. In September 2016, Rosenstock operated the Fermentophone — he was joined by Eric Rosenbaum on an Echolaliator, an interactive computer improvision tool — at the Lilypad Inman, a performance space and art gallery in Inman Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Audience members who brought their own instruments were invited to join in. ("Alec Spiegelman Presents. . . Music& ~ September 14/ 10 pm")

(My thanks to Bill Marx for the introduction to this wonder.)

Watch a live performance with the Echolaliator.

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