Interactive sculpture, 2022
production: Cyland Lab
Source of energy
Light sculpture - ethanol molecule
Kombucha SCOBY (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is an incredible creature. There are many different myths and legends about this. Even one concerns its extraterrestrial origin.
Kombucha is also unique in that it cannot be accurately attributed to any biological kingdom, the bacteria present in it work with the body of the fungus in tandem only at the initial stage. Over time, they spliced their genome with the genome of the plant part, as a result of which Kombucha presumably initially functions as a symbiosis between a bacteria and a fungus, but then becomes a whole with a unique genetic structure of a fungus and bacteria.
But, back to Earth - adding the culture of kombucha in a sweet tea broth allows bacterial growth in there. Sucrose is converted, biochemically, to fructose and glucose, and these to gluconic acid and acetic acid. These processes are known as lactic acid fermentation and ethanol metabolism.
A light sculpture is made in shape of acetic acid molecule. The balls are made of a translucent plastic material. Inside each ball are fixed ten LEDs matching the invented color of elements : Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen.
Object is connected to a jar with SCOBY that is in process of producing Kombucha. Jar is installed on a podium near / under sculpture
The process of tea changes will be monitored by an acid and ethanol detector which will increase the brightness of the molecules in the sculpture. Acid is produced by SCOBY triggers changes of intensity of color of sculpture.
If exhibition period is more, then 4 weeks SCOBY should be washed and put in a new tea / sugar substance.