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Installation, 2014

Fans, speakers, projectors, video 12’; edition 1/3 + 2 a.p / max/MSP programming, macmini, fans, projection, audio, speakers, microcontroller, Arduino programming

Engeneer Alexey Grachev

«…All men, lions, eagles, and quails, horned stags, geese, spiders, silent fish that inhabit the waves, starfish from the sea, and creatures invisible to the eye—in one word, all the lives, all the lives, all the lives, completing the dreary round imposed upon them, have died out at last.

Thousands of centuries have passed since the earth last bore a living creature on her breast, and the unhappy moon now lights her lamp in vain. No longer are the cries of storks heard in the meadows, or the drone of beetles in the groves of limes. All is cold, cold, cold.

All is void, void, void…»

—A. P. Chekov, «Seagull»

In Eclipse, the peaceful day of clear existence is replaced by darkness and anxiety. In the modeled and accelerated version of the global, natural process, artists show the cyclical nature of time and history, in which human life is contained.

The video of a sped-up solar eclipse projected  onto a wall. It is a video recording of the movement of the Sun in real time, taken at the Pulkovo Observatory on a solar telescope. The action in the video is synchronized with a soundtrack and with the flow of air from large fans placed above the projection.

A dark circle of the Moon gradually creeps across the projection until it covers a white circle of the Sun. As the Sun becomes darker, the flow of air blown at the viewers gets stronger and more sounds are added and grow louder. At the culminative moment, when the full eclipse takes place, the fans and sound are working at full capacity. The entire space is filled with wind and cacophony—the voices of enraged animals. This sound field is supplemented by the constant low-frequency hum of the air fans and an audio track with the sound of the Sun.

This installation is based on a story of how Elena’s father had seen in childhood the eclipse.

As he recalled, the enormous shadow of the Moon slowly crawled across the Earth, covering the light of the Sun. It became as dark as night, stars appeared in the sky and the wind began to blow. Panic broke out in the yard: Dogs howled, roosters crowed and cows mooed. He grew up in the impoverished and difficult period following World War II and knew little about astronomy until 1956. This year, in his fifth year at school, he saw a total solar eclipse. After this experience, astronomy became his main interest and his lifetime career.

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