FoodPorn Noise Machine Proposal

The Food-porn Noise Machine


Many define the contemporary society with the word consumerism. We all consume, we all like to indulge, and we all like to eat good food. The companies and restaurant chains have seen this opportunity a long time ago, and have tried to advertise in ways that attract consumers and make us salivate. Food advertisements are increasingly being eroticized; our senses are being attached by the sensual imageries of these advertisements. We see that popsicle stick being licked seductively by a gorgeous tongue, and we hear those sound of slowly chewing, chocolate dripping, hot oil sizzling and eaters’ enjoyable noise of “ommm’s” and “ummh’s”. The market focuses so much on the epicurean culture, and some food are given erogenous symbolisms that are hard to erase from our minds.


My interest in this notion of food eroticism is why I want to propose the idea of creating a “food-porn” noise machine. I will be programing on Max/MSP through Max.jitter, where I can process through its image library. This machine will be a noise generator on the computer. The audiences can input different food ads into this program, and the output will be an eating noise based on how erotic the food picture is. The program will generate potentially sensual noises like “um, ahhh, nom” and also eating and chewing noises from found sources (actual advertisements and food shows). The scale of eroticism will be stretched on the domain of those images’ color saturations. Therefore, the brighter the advertisement is, the sexier the noise output will be.


The setup of this machine in the Ellis Gallery will be either through any sort of interactive monitor or on a computer system. It is an interactive program where the viewers can put in their own images or pick from available images. If there are other sound-art related works in the gallery, the noise can be delivered through headphones. The ideal context of this noise machine will be just an online program where everybody can access it.


My inspirations mostly came from my passionate watching of food related television shows. One example of what the “noises” would be like is the audio of this clip of Rachel Ray devouring and enjoying her delicious meals:

One mind-blowing encounter is this website that literally equates food with porn:

An art piece that doesn’t really relate to the machine, but it provoked me conceptually about how food and sexuality interact is this video piece, “Dinner”, by a young female artist Shana Hoehn:

I also enjoy food channels and also food magazines that display orgasmic imageries of edibles.

Home recipe blogs like,,

are inspirations I constantly draw on.


I have only minimal experiences in computer programing, and the few tools that are possibly for me are Arduino and Maxuino (through generating sounds form other hardware). Java may also be a potential language, and OpenProcessing can be another easy option. The best choice, however, is still probably through Max 6 where I can generate noises directly.


By basing on imagery of these advertisements, the machine generates a suggestive devouring noise based on the level of seductiveness of the advertisements, and through these noises, the machine conceptually reveals the food-porn industry we all indulge in.  


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