Sound Sculpting Lab (Fungal)
Background - The purpose of this lab is to establish a procedure for giving shape and form to fungal samples through the use of frequency exposure, i.e., using sound to give form to a living sample. For this lab, you can work with any fungal sample, but in the example below penicillium chrysogenum and chaetomium globosum are used due to their easy availability and non-toxicity.
Theory for procedure: Over the past 20-years there has been increasing interest by scientists (and artists) into the effects of audible sound exposure on microbial and bacterial systems. Relevant studies tends to investigate various responses to sound exposure such as cell density, biomass, changes or shifts in quorum sensing, and cellular communication. In approaching this research, I began wondering about the possibility of using sound to give shape to fungal samples- sound exposure as a tool for inscribing form into a medium. For this exercise I have selected a 60Hz tone as it is the rate at which electricity oscillates in the United States, therefore a tone which whether or not we realize it, is a backdrop for daily life.
Inoculate 24 petri dishes, 12 with penicillium chrysogenum and 12 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-- 6 penicillium and 6 chaetomium samples will be placed in two separate sound exposure growth boxes, isolated inside an anechoic chamber. These two boxes will play a constant 60Hz tone for the duration of the experiment. The other12 samples will serve as the control, and will be placed inside silent control boxes, also placed within an anechoic chamber. The sound exposure boxes will be outfitted with two-4 ohm speakers, which will be powered by a single 10w 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 should be analyzed side by side, to see how the growth of both samples differed, paying special attention to the orientation of the plates in relation to the speakers.