MADE IN CYLAND
VASILII BAKANOV & ANDREW STROKOV
SLOW BURNING. STILL LIFE
Installation, 2020 (edition of 2021)
Chemical reactions, real-time generated sound, live streaming from webcam located inside boxes OpenCV, Python, Arduino, 3D printing, soldering, 3 thermally insulated black boxes, heaters, temperature and humidity sensors, HD webcams, flood lights, DIN rails, microcontroller modules, Raspberry PI, Korg Monotron Delay, portable speakers, fruits, china plates
Engineers Andrew Strokov, Alexey Grachev, Alexander Bochkov; 3D engineering design Alexander Bochkov; Python programming Andrew Strokov
Three fruits on pedestals are contained inside a black box. In artificially created and regularly maintained conditions, the fruits pass through three chemical reactions — caramelization, the Maillard reaction and enzymatic browning. Usually, these processes take place within minutes in cooking. Here they are intentionally prolonged in time. Inside the box constant humidity and a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius are maintained, thus killing bacteria which cause decay. In ideal and constantly controlled conditions, the fruits preserve their form, and burn up inside from day to day at the lowest possible speed.
Visitors can observe the slowly burning still life by watching it in real-time on the video panel placed on the boxes. But the main activity remains hidden and takes place at the molecular level. Its tangible manifestation is a monotonous soundtrack performed by the fruits themselves. Information about the external appearance of each fruit is converted into sound waves. The processes inside the box are analyzed and sonified by an analog synthesizer. The sound pitch and timbre depend on temperature, humidity, fruit size and color. As the fruit burns up, the sound “burns up” as well and becomes increasingly dull and quiet.
The process is an artificially prolonged borderline state of “in between”. The metamorphosis is too slow to perceive by the naked eye. Because of the unnatural maximum delay, all differences vanish in the abyss of time to the accompaniment of a droning trio. However, it is still an open question as to whether the process will proceed in the way that was intended. Every effort has been made, all we can do is to wait and see what will happen next.