Slow Burning by Vasilii Bakanov

CYLAND Media Laboratory is pleased to present a new project by artist Vasilii Bakanov.
Vasilii Bakanov (Russia)
Slow burning
Live streaming still life (open-ended)
Supported by CYLAND Media Art Lab:
Alexey Grachev — max msp and arduino programming, hardware eng.;
Alexander Bochkov — touchdesign programming, 3d printing, hardware eng.
1. Max msp — synthesis of sound waves using RGB data: Apple — sine wave range 50–200 Hz; Pear — saw wave range 125–350 Hz; Banana — tri wave range 100–250 Hz.
2. Touchdesigner — analysis of shifting color spectrum, live streaming, data output.
3. Arduino — temp. and humidity monitoring.
Airtight and thermally insulated box, heating set, temp. and humidity sensor, HD webcam, LED light 2000K, arduino controller, mac mini.
Three fruits are contained inside a white cube. In artificially created and regularly maintained conditions, the fruits pass through three chemical reactions — caramelization, the Maillard reaction and the enzymatic browning. Usually, these processes take place within minutes in cooking. Here they are intentionally prolonged in time. Inside the brightly lit thermally insulated box, constant humidity and a temperature of 60°С are maintained, thus killing bacteria which cause decay. In the ideal and constantly controlled conditions, the fruits preserve their form, and burn up inside from day to day.
The process is shown in real-time on YouTube. The picture looks static. At first and second glance, nothing is changing. The slowly burning still life is online all the time and displayed for public view, but the essence of the process remains hidden. The main activity 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 an RGB parameter, which is then transformed into an audio track.
The process – neither death nor life – is an artificially prolonged borderline state of “in between”. The fruits have already been plucked from the tree, and formally their end is predetermined and known. The experimental laboratory still life with an artificial “quiet life” shows the borderline state of transition from one death to another. The process is under the constant close observation of the camera, the creator of the work and viewers. The process of change vanishes in the abyss of time to the accompaniment of a droning trio. The moment when one thing ends and a completely different thing begins eludes our view once more because of the unnatural maximum delay.
It is an open question as to whether everything will go according to plan, and the process will end in the way it was intended to. Every effort has been made to achieve this — all we can do is to wait and see what will happen next.
Text: Lydia Griaznova