Fermentum is still a work in progress. Here is a quick video of a recent batch of kimchi with pH and CO2 sensors added in. One of the interesting things happening here is that the jar of kimchi had a lid on it up until just a few minutes before this video was recorded. Thus, the tonal shifts heard here are caused by escaping CO2. It's something to keep in mind as I move forward in the project and think of how it may be displayed. One option would be to have the fermenting vessel 'perform' when opened...more to come!
The Fermentum prototype is complete. The CO2 and pH sensor values are now sent out to two small speakers. The speakers will probably each need a speaker housing, which I'll print before demoing the prototype this Wednesday for the HCDE 498/598 course and community. I have tried, vainly, to get the data via the serial port to another program like Processing or Max/MSP. Unfortunately, I'm not yet able to parse the two separate values. This is okay for the short term, but I will definitely try to do this, as the sound possibilities are so much greater in one of these programs than what I can do on the Arduino board. Still, I actually like the use of the speaker and I'm considering sticking with them for the long run for a couple of reasons.
For starters, they make for a kind of charming sound and really carry with them a DIY aesthetic. This is not just an Arduino or "making" aesthetic, but the whole aesthetic of fermentation and making of food that ties in with sauerkraut. As I mentioned last week, I really do think that there is something important in integration between speakers and system. In a Simondonian sense, the whole system becomes more concrete than if one needs to connect a computer to draw sound out. It also allows to have multiple Fermentum sculptures installed in one space and to hear the difference in the processes by which fermentation happens. So, one could listen to the differences between kimchi and sauerkraut fermentation real time in an art installation. This is the pro to integrating speakers into the system. The con is that the sound possibilities in Max/MSP, Processing or OpenFrameworks are much greater.
Now to make some sauerkraut for the demo!