“My Goodness” – exploring what your digestive and immune system looks, sounds and feels like

Oh My Goodness!  *(My Goodness Me)

In celebration of National Science Week 2021, the United Nations International Year of Fruit and Vegetables and the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, Monash University is launching a multisensory book and exhibition titled ‘My Goodness’ – a tactile and interactive exploration of the science behind gut health, nutrition, and immunity.

Designed for low vision, blind and general audiences alike, the books will read to you and also entertain.

Described as an ‘entire multisensory art exhibition in a single book’, they  are stationed on interactive reading benches using optical scanning technology (fiducials) and webcams enabling the wonderful world of the gut biota to come alive.

Through tactile artworks, audio sonifications, braille-inspired protein molecules, large print, audio narration, and braille supplements, audiences can explore the Books against a backdrop of synthesised music evoking molecular protein foldings and the sounds of the gut biota.

The books have been created by Dr Erica Tandori, legally blind Sensory Science Artist in Residence at the Rossjohn Lab, Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute, in collaboration with Stu Favilla, Musician and Lecturer in Interaction Design at Swinburne University of Technology, School of Design and Architecture.

They contain contributions by some of Monash University’s most eminent and world-renowned experts in the field of gut health, nutrition and immunity.

“So much more can be expressed when you add sounds,” says Dr Tandori.  “It really does help to support what’s happening from the visual and tactile level when you can listen to the sounds of a protein or the way microbes are interacting while you are feeling the sculptures and exploring the artworks.

“Stu has brought an amazing plethora of audio design skills to this project including sonification of the artworks, 3D audio and beautiful modular synthesis music evoking the inner universe and machinations of human digestion!”

Mr Favilla adds: “Erica’s tactile artworks are not 3D prints but rather reference a language of touch that we are all familiar with.  Her artworks comprise food grains, clothing materials, wools and many other fascinating textures and multisensory experiences.

“They are driven by her desire to communicate the wonders of molecular biology through her unique artistic understanding and perceptions. The books reference a legacy of prior exhibition knowledge but the exhibition itself is now spatially encapsulated, all in one neat package.”

The Books have also inspired the creation of a pop song called “My Goodness”, co-written by Erica and Stu with Erica singing vocals and Stu performing all instrumentation, rapping and producing the track.

“We hope we can get kids of all ages to sing about the wonders of the gut biota. My Goodness is possibly the greatest song ever written about the gut biota, immunity, fruit and vegetables,” Dr Tandori said.

Following the Launch event, the books are intended for roving exhibitions across metropolitan and regional schools, community groups and disability educational centres in Victoria.

An online version of the books is also proposed as a COVID-19 contingency plan with a range of virtual activities to support the exhibition.

The My Goodness: Interactive Multisensory Science Book Launch and Exhibition is a free online event that will be held on Friday August 20  from 9 am.

This initiative is supported by the National Science Week Inspiring Australia Grant.

About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Spanning six discovery programs across Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Development and Stem Cells, Infection and Immunity, Metabolism, Diabetes and Obesity, and Neuroscience, Monash BDI is one of the largest biomedical research institutes in Australia.  Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.

For media enquiries please contact:

Wendy Smith

Media and Communications Manager

Monash University

E: wendy.smith1@monash.edu

T: +61 (0) 425 725 836

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