Dmitry Morozov aka ::vtol:: (b.1986, Moscow) is a transdisciplinary artist and researcher. He focuses on contemporary media arts including sound, robotics and installation, placing special emphasis on the link between emergent systems and new kinds of technological synthesis.
His works have been exhibited at museums and galleries worldwide, including the NCCA, MMOMA, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Tretyakov State Gallery, Electromuseum, Laboratoria Art&Science Space (Moscow), Laznia Center for Contemporary Arts (Gdansk), ZKM Zentrum (Karlsruhe), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Boulder), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taichung), Kapelica gallery (Ljubljana), ArtScience Museum (Singapore) etc., in 4th MBCA (Moscow), SIGGRAPH 2016 (Anaheim) and in festivals such as Mirage (Lyon), Ars Electronica (Linz), Future Everything (Manchester) and CTM (Berlin).
He is the award winner of the Sergei Kuryokhin Prize (Russia, 2013), Prix Cube (France, 2014) and also received honorary mentions at VIDA 16.0 (Spain, 2014) and Prix Ars Electronica (Austria, 2015, 2017).
“12262” multimedia installation is a dedication to the legendary Soviet project SG-3 (СГ-3) —the Kola Superdeep Borehole, located few kilometers away from the city of Zapolyarny, Murmansk region, inside the Arctic Circle. When the Soviet Union collapsed, this purely research-oriented borehole was the deepest in the world—its depth reached 12,262 m. Like many other monumental projects of that time, after the operation stopped, the borehole was abandoned and plundered, and its ruins became almost inaccessible for occasional pilgrims.
For a long time project was top secret. Level of difficulties and technologies that this project involved is comparable with sending the man into space. Amount of data and samples that were obtained during experiments is so huge, that it will be studied for many more decades.
But even while the borehole remained active, it’s operation and inner life was shrouded in legend, mystery, and hoax. Some speculated that the borehole was a part of the seismic weapon project of superior destructive capacity, others believed that the Soviet Union wants to drill a hole right down to hell. In the 90’s, an audio file appeared on the web—the horror-like sounds were allegedly recorded at the borehole. Numerous acoustic researches were, indeed, conducted at the borehole—earth wobble and wave propagation attracted researchers no less than geology did. This is one of the main reasons why sound is the main element of this work.
The project is a sound installation that uses data decoded from a punched tape in real time. It is unknown what exactly is written on the tape — it can be a record of research data, a program for controlling equipment, a report on the scientific work done. Today, it is impossible to find a system supporting punched tapes adapted for modern computers for this work, I have designed a digital optical system, capable of reading coded information. Punched tapes were extensively used as recently as 30–40 years ago, yet today such manipulations are regarded as media archaeology. On top of this, computer punched tapes are similar to pianola punched tapes of the early 20th century or musical boxes, which served as an extra reason for converting these data into sound. The installation’s master controller directed by a special algorithm gradually decipher the tape and gives commands to five kinetic sound generators, which are miniature drilling mechanisms.
After receiving the command, each of them starts drilling small samples of the stone core from the borehole. During the years of operation of the scientific station, tons of sample cores were quarred from it to be used for research. For several years, I was buying these samples at the auctions and from collectors, which became a prize for geology lovers after the station closed up.
The drilling sound from small fragments split away from such cores is amplified, processed, and thereby becomes the base for the infinite sound composition created by the object. It can be said that the whole installation is a kind of a drilling rig model, an artwork combining media archeology and geology, kinetic art and myths of a collapsed empire, sounds of mechanisms and darkness of deep depths.
In July 2018 I went to visit the station СГ-3, to resume the drilling process after 28 years of downtime.
Commission by NCCA-ROSIZO, special for TECHNE “Prolog” exhibition, Moscow, 2018.
Curators: Natalia Fuchs, Antonio Geusa. Producer: Dmitry Znamenskiy.
– Dark Ecology festival
– Glafira Severianova
– Daria Chebotar
– Sergey Nesterenko
– Yulia Glukhova
– Kirill Yandulov
– Spasibo Studio