((works by )) T A K E H I T O / E T A N I








-spiritual prothtetics series-

First seen: May 2005

Masticator is a headgear with custommade electronics that gives audio visual feedback of chewing during meals. At each chew the device beeps and counts the chewing on the LED digital display. The number loops between 0 to 9 and does not add up.

One who wears the Masticator also becomes "The Masticator".

The Masticator occasionally visits restaurants such as McDonald's to chew slowly on hamburgers and fries in ritualistic manner.

MAST-I System

Sensing of the mastication was achieved by the state-of-the-art technology called MAST-I system. The technology takes advantage of the phenomenon that the masseter muscle at the sides of the jaw stiffens and pops out as the upper and lower teeths bit at each mastication. A push-button switch is placed on the masseter muscle and the muscle pushes the button when the teeth bite. MAST-I is the abbreviation of Mastication Activated Switch Technology version one.

The counter was made using BASIC Stamp. The basic code was written by Johnny Chung Lee

Social reform by super mastication

Horace Fletcher, a social reformer/first dietetic faddist in the early 20th century, promoted his dietetic system based on super mastication. His “chew-chew fad” was quite popular in America and Europe. Thomas Edison, Franz Kafka, and John D. Rockefeller were among the practitioners of Fletcherism. He sought for social reform by using the careful super mastication technique to solve urban social problems like poverty, sickness, and crime.

Exhibitions and Sightings

May 2008: Second Skin, Wearable art and wearable computing show, The Exploretorium, San Francisco, CA
Oct 2007: Super Mastication Show, Halloween Spooktacular Variety, Amnesia Bar, San Francisco, CA
July 2005: Media tonic 2, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh
May 2005: Seen at Original Hotdog shop, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
May 2005: Seen at Taste of India, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
May 2005: Seen at Ellis gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
May 2005: Seen at McDonald’s, downtown Pittsburgh
May 2005: Seen at Arby’s, downtown Pittsburgh





















Masticator demo Quicktime

10.8MB (1min37sec)


Masticating Arby's Quicktime

18.7MB (2min25sec)



  Masticator (2005) pig rawhide, human bone, electronics
  The circuit box and the LED digital display



  Masticator captured by a camera masticating the roast beef sandwich at Arby's. May 2005