Cheese, aubergine, ham, and tortillas are tasty in their own right, but in the hands of artist Matthew Herper, they also make beautiful music. He uses laser-etching to make edible—and still playable—record albums to explore the acoustical properties of food.
The project is called Edible Sound, commissioned by London’s Science Gallery. It’s for a good cause: to raise awareness of food production, nutrition, and waste. His focus is on ingredients often used in processed food, with sugar being one of the worst culprits:
Often consumed without consideration of the levels being ingested, sugar in particular, is a primary component in processed foods with direct links to obesity, diabetes and other health issues. Herbert’s project spotlights this ingredient (amongst others), at a time when the negative impact of high dietary sugar levels on our health, medical services and the economy is a hot topic. Herbert’s interest in sugar stems from its ability to entice consumers in spite of the increasing evidence of its damaging effects.
Herper tweeted about his edible tortilla 33 rpm record last month, declaring it “playable on normal hifi. unlikely to be delicious.” His work closed the Science Gallery’s months-long exhibit, FED UP: The Future of Food, with a live performance on March 17 at The Guy’s Chapel in London. Per The Vinyl Factory: “Equipped with a larder of ingredients used in processed foods, he laser-etched aubergine, onion, celeriac, potato, ham, cheese, tortilla and sugar into playable, edible records which were then fed to the audience at the end of the performance.”
Try doing that with vinyl. Incidentally, Herper is not the first to make a playable record out of a tortilla. He’s just taken the next logical step forward.