/vacuum, acoustic feedback (2017)
Null is a prototype and an experiment, part of an ongoing research on the notion of cosmogony and creation. The work explores the properties of sound in low pressure environments. It is an acoustic feedback system consisting of a speaker and a microphone embedded in a nearly sealed glass sphere. The container is being periodically vacuumed from atmospheric pressure (1 Atmosphere or 0 kPa) to almost an entire atmosphere below zero (-0,83 Atm or -85 kPa). In the process of slow leakage of air, the sound generated in the feedback loop exhibits strange and fascinating properties that are yet to be fully explored.
The work can be seen as a cosmogram (J.Tresch), a representation of Creation and our contemporary understanding of cosmology, the beginning of the world. Based on our current practices of exploring the properties of vacuum, sound and space in both science and humanities, the work arises from an alchemical like process of manipulating “nothing.” Nothing as the point of Origin - chaos, void or the creation ex nihilio, most frequently encountered creation myths throughout the ages. In the scientific worldview and the prevailing Big Bang model, the Origin is seen as an infinitely small singularity, a state equally unknowable as nothing. Equally unattainable as perfect vacuum.
Silence is impossible. Once an acoustic feedback loop, the system swiftly shifts into mechanical feedback in the conditions of rarified and no air. Going from pressure to vibration, the sound effectively expands the container acting back as a pressure wave by letting more air particles in. Sound becomes space - the slightest changes in environment conditions transforms the properties of sound. Dynamically, that is to say chaotically, the frequencies shift in response to pressure, temperature and composition of the air. Sound is purely determined by the composition of particles and the “barrier” which is theoretically if not physically infinite.
The work was developed during the Summer Session artist in residency programme and presented at Sonica festival in Ljubljana under the title The Collection of Nothings: The World. A failure should be noted in realising the initial idea with which I was granted the residency. The beauty in researching unattainable is that the outcomes are often unknowable.
People and organisations which have in one way or another contributed to this research and work, and to whom I am especially thankful: Dmitry Morozov, Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory, Vacutech company, Petar Kolobarić, Rampa lab / Kapelica gallery, Slovenian centre of excellence for space sciences and technologies, Dr. Primož Pelicon, Institut Jožef Štefan, department of Low and Medium Energy Physics and dear Poligon crew.
This project is produced as part of the Summer Sessions Network for Talent Development in a co-production of MoTA, Ljubljana and V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, with support of the Creative Industries Fund NL.