10 million volts, 2015
wooden twigs, straws, rocks, possible thunder
The project investigates contemporary digital knowledge outside of its dependency to modern industrialized materials. Twigs, rocks and straws perform digital operations in the installation instead of copper, silicon and plastic. Lightning strikes and trees operate as infrastructures instead of alternating current and power grids. Looking inside the black boxes of digital technologies, an assembly of different components and materials perform complex calculations in increasingly shorter times. Could the wiring of natural raw materials perform operations as fast and complex as digital black-boxes?
The installation consists on a theoretical ADC (analog to digital converter) with an input sampling rate of 10 to 100 million volts and an output resolution of 6 bits. Situated in the wilderness, the machine is attached to the highest tree of a given area in order to attract lightnings during thunderstorms. Evenly distributed electrodes are placed around the tree with specific crescent gaps to induce high voltage sparks, thus producing binary signals activated in accordance to the lightning’s voltage. The machine outputs 6 binary values that are visualized by the burning of inflammable materials placed between the electrodes.
Co-creation: Mariana Basso. Support: developed as part of the MA program in Digital Media at the HfK Bremen, supervised by Prof. Ralf Baecker.