We have been messing around with Kombucha. It’s this pro-biotic drink made out of sweet tea. It is also a model organism for cooperation. We think that the bacteria and the yeast are joining forces to keep the icky stuff out. We performed a little experiment during homecoming—we had people swab their palms and then put them in plain sweet tea and then in the kombucha. Within a short time, the sweet tea had turned hairy. Really, really hairy. On the other hand, the kombucha did not exhibit anything. Looked as clear as day. Not sure what to make of this but it is really interesting. My science doppelganger, Alex May, is going to find out what is going on. Cannot wait!
Last weekend we presented our kombucha in an arts context. A bunch of people at ASU created “Emerge” an art/science exhibition where they explored science and art through the lens of Frankenstein. Alex May and Scott Gibbs were my partners in crime. We took turns explaining the science and animating the space as performers. By the end of the night, I felt that the kombucha had become a model organism for the cooperation between artists and scientists. The other pieces were wonderful—filled with visions. Victorian people gliding down walnut staircases, house flies steering white blimps, mist swirling past a single emerald green clover, mysterious Tarot card readings. The air itself was filled with rich ideas, the ether of paint, and the overarching sense of bonne amie. Shelley would have been proud.