Masticator (2005) 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. 

 

Masticator (2005) : pig rawhide, human mandible bone, electronics

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


The Masticator caught on video masticating Arby's roast beef sandwich. Pittsburgh, PA. May 2005

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.