Bacterial Orchestra is a self-organizing evolutionary musical organism made of audio cells. Every cell -consisting of microphone and a loudspeaker- listens to its surroundings and picks up sounds trying to play them back in sync with what it hears. It can be the background noise, people talking or sound played by other cells. Every cell is simple, but together they create a complex whole.
Every cell is born with a unique set of characteristics (its DNA) that control the way it will react to sound. If it's not fit enough, the cell dies and is reborn with a new DNA (you can also adopt a cell, btw.)
The result is a musical organism adapting to its environment, evolving with neighbouring cells and spectators and becoming musically smarter and smarter.
What motivated you to make this installation?
We are really interested in systems that are self-organizing and has it's own life. You never know what would will be created in the end. The only thing you could do is to give birth to the creation. Then wait. I have been interested in sound installations for a while now, but I often think that they're more "sound" than "music". This is musical organism. It might sound a bit random, but it creates music. All sounds from the Bacterial Orchestra are played in interaction with the other cells and with sounds in the room. It's music.
Any plan to show the installation at other venues or to keep on improving it?
Yes, we have just showed it one time. First we are interested in showing it in another environment - since it will react competely different. We ...
Originally posted on we make money not art by Rhizome