Gilberto Esparza: BioSoNot 1.2

  • ©2017, Gilberto Esparza, BioSoNot 1.2
  • ©2017, Gilberto Esparza, BioSoNot 1.2



BioSoNot 1.2


SIGGRAPH 2017: Unsettled Artifacts: Technological Speculations from Latin America

Creation Year:



3D & Sculpture

Artist Statement:

BioSoNot 1.2 (2014–2016) is a musical synthesizer that translates biological activity into sound while cleaning contaminated water samples. A hybrid bio-sound instrument, this sonic device generates music and noise from the biological activity of different living microorganisms.

BioSoNot 1.2 consists of a series of custom-made microbial fuel cells that work as biosensors, capturing the electrons produced by the metabolic processes of the bacteria living in polluted rivers and urban municipal waters, such as Geobacters, commonly found in decomposing organic waste. This bio-electrical information is harvested and fired as energy into an oscillator that expresses the information as sound, generating an organic symphony of bacterial life.

Part machine, part organic system, BioSoNot 1.2 is a product of the artist’s longstanding interest in creating symbiotic systems that reimagine the management of contaminated waters and the recycling of urban waste.