Team:NYU Shanghai


— where synthetic life meets experimental music —

New York University Shanghai

This project translates the color and positions of bacteria colonies on a plate into sound composition. Integrating the unpredictable nature of genetically modified life with hardware and digital art, we aim to explore the meaning and implications of synthesized bodies and introduce new forms of bio-data into the sound domain.

There are three main components to the bacterial music generator: (1) bacteria colonies (2) tube rack (3) button control. We engineered bacteria to express different colors and lights through chromoproteins, fluorescent proteins, luciferase, and oscillating amounts of luciferase. We then translated bacterial colonies on a plate into a step sequencer, which creates patterned expressions of sound. The tube rack and button control add extra layers of interaction and control, making the user the coolest DJ ever.

Turn the sound on in the video to hear what it sounds like.