Over the past 20-years there has been an increasing interest by scientists into the effects of audible sound exposure on microbial and bacterial systems. This type of research tends to investigate various responses to sound exposure such as cell density, biomass, changes or shifts in quorum sensing, and cellular communication. In thinking about this topic began hypothesizing about the aesthetic potential of these types of inquiries. I chose to think of sound exposure in a very material sense, i.e., as a tool for inscribing form into a medium. Like a sculptor carves form into clay, I began experimenting with various frequencies, to see what aesthetic potential was viable from this type of work.
For this project, I worked with penicillium chrysogenum and chaetomium globosum, testing each fungus’ reaction to five chosen frequencies. Through trials implemented on both strains I investigated the effects that various frequencies have on the ecology of penicillium chrysogenum and chaetomium globosum colonies. The research was documented via photographs (below).
Procedure/Protocol:
Inoculate 36 petri dishes, 18 with penicillium chrysogenum and 18 with chaetomium globosum. All inoculations will be prepared on V8 Juice agar medium as it has been determined to have ideal nutrient levels for both species. To inoculate, dilute 1g of fungal cells in 100 ml distilled water, and apply 10 ml of diluted liquid to each dish. Once all of the petri dishes have been prepared, half of them-- 9 penicillium and 9 chaetomium samples will be placed in 3 sound exposure growth boxes, all isolated inside an anechoic chamber. Each box will sound a different frequency and will contain one plate of each mold. The sound exposure boxes will be outfitted with  two-8 ohm speakers, which will be powered by a single 18w amplifier. The stereo pair of speakers in each box will emit a constant tone, at 100dB, for the duration of the samples growth cycle. The other dish dishes, inoculated with the same dilution of cells, will be grown in the in soundless containers for the same duration of time. Results will be analyzed side by side, to see how the growth of both samples differed.