The Spice Mix Super-Computer is a traveling cooking demonstration that attempts to blend every spice combination possible on earth.
The Spice Mix Super-Computer is a massive mobile food machine, which allows users to create, print and taste a unique blend of spices from millions of possible combinations.
The olfactory synthesizer is based on a “patch-bay” audio synthesizer. It uses forced air to release smells from a combination of selected spices. Users plug into the bespoke Olfactory Synthesizer, combine and compare smells from the database of international spices, then choose their favorites. After the computer processes and interprets the selection, the food-printing is complete, and users take their customized container of spices to the BetaTaster™ food counter to share recipes and experiences.
Spices as Social Media
Spices are one of the oldest forms of long distance communication on the planet, but we do not usually treat them as information that can be combined and disseminated as a form of human-to-human communication. Digital technology has created opportunities for individuals to mix and share images and sounds across great distances, but not flavors and smells. This project assembles spices from all over the globe, allowing individuals to customize, mix and spread smell and taste messages with other humans.
The Spice Mix Super-Computer is designed to record and store every possible spice combination, analyzing user preferences and patterns along the way. We hope this data will begin to reveal the underlying structures and the role of spices in the agri-eco-culinary system. Are combinations of spices strange attractors, naturally aligning, or can we open our mouths and minds to novel combinations of smell, taste and chemical reaction?
Spices Change Minds
But be careful: spices are dead and dried plant corpses with the substantial power to direct and regulate human activity. Many spices come from poisonous plants, and have powerful physical and mental effects on humans. If you are mixed up with spices how do you know they are not using you to achieve their dark designs? Might a heretofore untasted spice combination unlock a door to unexpected culinary experiences and states of consciousness? There are not enough BetaTasters™ on the planet asking these questions. The Spice Mix Super Computer can help.
The Spice Mix Super Computer was commissioned by the Abandon Normal Devices festival in Manchester, England in 2012.