Since April 2007 Softday have been researching the viability of converting data from microbes and bacteria into musical composition by designing computer software and algorithms. Using data from the Enterprise Ireland's Aquatic Toxicity Laboratory in Shannon, Co.Clare, Softday have experimented with a variety of saltwater and freshwater crustaceans and algae.
We decided to focus this project on the freshwater crustacean Daphnia magna.
Daphnia growing area in Enterprise Ireland's Aquatic Toxicity Laboratory
For the physical installation we were inspired by the looks of the Aquatic Toxicity Lab in Shannon. We sourced lab tables, glassware and various props and configured the installation into four stations, each with its own Petri-dish with Daphnia, video camera and Apple iMac computer with our specially designed software, implemented in Pure Data (PD) with the GEM extension for computer vision and graphics.
Four stations (bass, tenor, alto and soprano)