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06 - 10 Sep 2023

Tempeh Universe

Previously at Ars Electronica, we highlighted Indonesia's local food stories such as tea, spices, sambal or jamu. 

This time we would like to show TEMPEH UNIVERSE. In the context of Indonesia's heritage foods being claimed by another country. The question is who has “the ownership” of traditional and heritage foods like tempeh? Do tempeh have DNA like humans to prove their inheritance too? Indonesia has made tempeh and used it as their daily food in Central Java since 1600. It is made from fermented soybeans, by natural culturing and controlled fermentation. Various ingredients of tempeh have medicinal value with an impressive nutritional content. 

Since the pandemic, the movement of eating healthy foods has become a lifestyle, for which reason tempeh is well known in Europe, too. 

Together with our collaborators, MAG garden will reveal the secret of tempeh and at the same time put the tempeh in the Indonesian DNA. Notanlab will respond with an installation which exploits a series of algorithms trying to imitate the emerging and self-organized structures present in some biological systems. Some types of fungi create extremely complex structures based on elementary communication processes. Binus University and partners showcases an innovation solution to tempeh production which make it more hygienic and efficient through portable machines. 

The MAG team is eager to explore their experiments combined with imagination in the TEMPEH UNIVERSE through AI and multisensory experiences.

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