The Sound Digestive System


The SDS is an audiovisual piece that uses the human digestive system logics into algorithmic sound composition. If we conceive this system as conduits (esophagus, gastrointestinal tract) and spaces, then we can throw sound particles into these objects. A computer simulation would generate the journey of these particles as the system builds itself over time.



Selected image captures

The system with nine food particles being digested at different intervals:


Microscope view:

Study on upper and lower gastro-intestinal tracts dynamics:

The map

Diagram / music score or map showing the different events of a sound particle.
To the right, the human digestive system operations, to the left, their sound translations.

Color scheme


A brighter version of Annunciazione, by Leonardo da Vinci was used as a color databank. Leonardo’s notable sense of proportion and balance, is used -in this case- to distinguish each organ and at the same time, achieve equilibrium in the whole composition. Each organ is programmed to grab colors from an specific area/object of the painting.


The food particle

Food is considered as sound. Each component of a food particle triggers an specific type of sound.
This is: the sound of sugary foods will be radically different than a high protein food.

The video above plays the breakfast according to the following quantities:


Full detailed report

Download a 100-pages full report of the project on this PDF file, including the complete sound and graphics code (67 MB ) - ( Browse on desktop with two-page view ).


Thanks to:
Special thanks to: Curtis Roads, Aaron Demby Jones, María Antonia González Valerio, Roxana Reyna & Hugo Escalante for their advice and support.



University of California Santa Barbara, US | Media Arts & Technology