David de Buyser 1 May 2012


Mold synthesizer

What does music have to do with mold? David de Buyser developed a digital synthesizer that uses molds and bacteria to produce sound.


F-Box modular synthesis design - This is the design for the grid. The parameter names between {..} are variables and steered by the mold, the ones between two vertical bars |..| are constants like the waveform in case of the oscilator module. The variables are the amount and the color of the mold in each petri dish. David de Buyser

The F-BOX is the name for a series of experiments that in the end will lead to the creation of a machine which produces sound by means of a computer and a mold score. The ever-changing form and color of the mold will not only influence the evolution of a musical sequence, but at the same time the color of the sounds that compose it.

Using Pure Data, David De Buyser programmed a modular synthesizer of which each module corresponds to one petri dish in the grid. The sounds produced by the synthesizer vary and change based on the amount and the color of the mold in each petri dish. The growth of mold as an organism will influence the sound of a digital synthesizer. The heat of the computer on which the synth will run, shall be used to condition the greenhouse-part of the installation.

The Organic and the Synthetic

The construction of the f-box can be seen as a crossover between a lab and a greenhouse. A lab for artistic audio-visual research which is at the same time a place for growing specific things. The setup is based on the principle of an interaction/interchange between the organic and the synthetic.


A virtual division of a camera image - This is an image for the F-Box proposal. This image was found on David's website, which can be found here David de Buyser


Portable f-box installation - This is a drawing of the f-box installation which will be set up at Mediamatic for the Paddestoelen Paradijs exhibition. David de Buyser

This project was first began as a residency at okno in Belgium. Now that David has completed the first prototype of the installation, he will finish building and installing the portable version of the F-Box at Mediamatic. The finished version will be revealed at the second Paddestoelen Paradijs opening.

This project has been realized thanks to the support of lahaag and okno.