Slow burning. Still Life (open ended)

Slow burning. Still Life (open ended)

Installation, 2020 (2021 edition)
Chemical reactions, sound generated in real time, live broadcast from a webcam located inside the boxes.
OpenCV, Python, Arduino, 3D printing, soldering, 3 black boxes with thermal insulation, heaters, temperature and humidity sensors, HD webcams, spotlights, DIN rails, microcontroller modules, Raspberry PI, Korg Monotron Delay, portable speakers, fruits, porcelain plates

Engineers Andrew Strokov, Alexey Grachev, Alexander Bochkov; 3D modeling Alexander Bochkov; programming python andrew strokov

Produced in collaboration with and with the support of CYLAND MediaArtLab

Inside a black box are three fruits on pedestals. Under artificially created and regularly maintained conditions, fruits undergo three chemical reactions: caramelization, Maillard reaction, and enzymatic browning. Normally, these processes take place in a matter of minutes in the kitchen. Here they are intentionally prolonged in time. Inside the box, constant humidity and a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius are maintained, thereby eliminating the bacteria that cause putrefaction. Under ideal and constantly controlled conditions, the fruits retain their shape and are consumed from one day to the next at the slowest possible speed.

Visitors can watch the smoldering still life by viewing it in real time on the video panel placed above 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 that take place inside the box are analyzed and sounded by an analog synthesizer. The pitch and timbre of the sound depends on the temperature, humidity, size and color of the fruit. As the fruit burns, the sound also "burns" and becomes increasingly dull and quiet.

The process is an artificially prolonged "intermediate" limit state. The metamorphosis is too slow to perceive with the naked eye. Due to the unnatural maximum delay, all differences vanish into the abyss of time to the accompaniment of a buzzing trio. However, it remains unknown whether the process will unfold as planned. Every effort has been made, all we can do is wait and see what happens next.