Tag Archives: Dmitry Morozov

This installation makes music out of crushing your belongings

Who knew slowly-crushed toys, electronics and accessories could make such haunting tunes?

Dmitry Morozov— who many refer to as ::vtol::—has returned yet again with another interactive installation. Just days after directing a symphony of robots, the artist is now looking to destroy any object that might happen to be on a person for the sake of sound composition. The unique project, called Oil, is comprised of five 10-ton hydraulic presses that crush practically anything, albeit an expensive smartphone, a pair of cheap glasses or anything in between.


In the process of destruction, a special microphone records the sounds made as the object undergoes deformation, and in just a few minutes, a computer algorithm transforms them into a 20 minutes album. Aside from a customized mic, each Oil station consists of an Arduino Uno (ATmega328), a Mac Mini, and an Apple CD drive. As visitors approach the shop press, they are instructed to steadily pump levers which bear down on an object (in some cases, even a maneki-neko figurine), as it expectedly emits crunching and cracking sounds.


“The project is intended to provoke visitors into spontaneously ridding themselves of material consumer objects for the sake of creating their own individual work of art via deprivation, divestment and destruction. Sound has been taken as the chief medium here with good reason, since sound art is perhaps the least material and most abstract of all genres in art,” ::vtol:: explains. “The technological aesthetic involved constitutes an ironic attempt to make the process of art production into a technological process, but the result, unlike that of mass production, demonstrates a contrary phenomenon – this is a work involving programming and code in the context of generative art, with the potential to broaden the range of instruments at art’s disposal.”

::vtol:: set parameters for how the sound would be processed using Pure Data, Max/MSP and AppleScript software programs. However, as you can imagine, the way in which each thing breaks is unique — especially when a 10-ton hydraulic press is at the helm.


So what do the participants get in exchange for destructing their possessions? The sound production is automatically recorded onto an audio CD and then handed over to the participant, of course. For those wondering if anyone would contribute to the ATmega328 driven installation, over the course of its exhibit commissioned by Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, 1,574 tracks were distributed. Looks like ::vtol:: crushed it yet again. (Literally.)

Those interested in learning more can head over to the project’s official page here.

ATmega2560 powers this interactive robot orchestra

Artist creates a robotic orchestra that lets you conduct an algorithmic symphony with hand gestures.

Moscow-based artist Dmitry Morozov — commonly referred to as ::vtol:: — is no stranger to Bits & Pieces. From creating digitized images from air pollution to cyborg-like instruments, prolific Maker has unveiled some slick Arduino-based designs in recent months that combine both modern music, robotic concepts and a contemporary take on creative art. However, none may compare to his latest project: Nayral-Ro.


Nayral-Ro is best described as an orchestra comprised of 12 different robotic manipulators, each of which equipped with a sound-transmitting speaker and placed onto a podium. When combined, the robotic arms form a single multi-channel symphonic sound. In order to interact with the orchestra, ::vtol:: used a Leap Motion controller to guide the robots and sound through simple hands gestures in the air, just as any conductor would lead an actual symphony.


::vtol:: powered the design using an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560), a modified OWI-535, some servo motors and actuators, along with a 12-channel sound system. As for the software, the Maker turned to the Pure Data language and ManosOSC to turn hand gestures of various heights into both audio and visual control.


When approaching the exhibit, a viewer must only wave their hands as if they were a magic wand to trigger the tiny robotic performers. Nayral-Ro features a algorithmic system, in which sound and musical composition are produced in real-time, while the acoustic environment changes simultaneously with the process of creating the musical piece.

“Due to constant displacement speakers in space, changing direction of the sound and the algorithms for generating compositions, the orchestra creates a dynamic soundscape,” Morozov explains.

At the moment, the piece is on display at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow. According to ::vtol::, future iterations are in the works. Perhaps when put into the hands of musicians, this could yield even more symphonic sounds. Intrigued? Learn all about the Maker masterpiece here, or see it in action below.

Metaphase Sound Machine is a kinetic audio installation

Media artist Dmitry Morozov — more commonly known as ::vtol:: — has debuted his latest piece of work, the Metaphase Sound Machine. Co-commissioned by FutureEverything and Moscow’s Laboratoria Art & Science Space, the project is a kinetic audio installation that creates quantum entanglement-inspired sounds.


According to Morozov, the Metaphase Sound Machine was designed to pay tribute to the original ideas of American physicist Nick Herbert who in the 1970s developed both the Metaphase Typewriter and Quantum Metaphone.

The artwork is comprised of six rotating acrylic discs, each equipped with spinning speakers and microphones. The microphones are connected via computer and the rotary axis to the speakers on the discs. In addition, the installation features an [Atmel based] Arduino unit and a Geiger-Mueller counter responsible for detecting the ionizing radiation in the surrounding area. The synchronizing phases of the spinning hardware produces feedback, generating sound when the rotational phases are in sync. These sounds are then processed through digital signal processors, which results in the variations experienced by the viewer.


“Feedback whistles are used as triggers for more complex sound synthesis. Additional harmonic signal processing, as well as the volatility of the dynamic system, lead to the endless variations of sound. The form of the object refers to the generally accepted symbolic notation of quantum entanglement as a biphoton — crossing discs of the orbits,” Morozov writes.

See the exhibit in action below! Interested in learning more? Head over to the artist’s official page, as well as browse through a collection of his latest work here.


Converting solar radiation into sound, light and electric discharges

Remember as a kid being warned by your parents not to look directly at the sun? A perfect combination of caution and curiosity, Dmitry Morozov — more commonly known as ::vtol:: — recently unveiled his latest interactive installation called undlarman at the Polytech Museum in Moscow. The project, which was a collaboration with Julia Borovaya and Edward Rakhmanov, utilizes 64 ultra-bright LEDs, 12-channel sound system and eight-electrical nerve stimulation electrodes controlled by Arduino Mega (ATmega2560).


The exhibit features an 8 x 8 LED grid that flashes and flickers according to information from a satellite observing the sun.


“Data on power of X-radiation flux from the sun is received in real-time from the satellite GOES15 which is tracking solar activity. It is being converted into streams of sound, light and electric discharges, thus allowing a spectator to experience in more intensive and evident way the influence of the main luminary of the solar system,” Morozov writes.


“The data, which is measured in watts per square meter, come with a frequency of once per minute. A special computer algorithm transforms it in sound waves, distributed by 12 channels in the space. The radiation power directly controls the height of tones and spectral changes in the sound. The speed of sound displacement in the space is also dependent on these parameters. Light is generated by algorithmic transformation of X-ray emission into physical modeling of light particles, which also affect the muscle stimulators in the chair to produce weak electric discharges.”

Those intrigued by Morozov’s latest installation will surely enjoy several of his earlier ATmega328 powered pieces, including a wearable machine that turns tattoos into tunesa Russian folk bot electronic-acoustic orchestra, or even air pollution-inspired art.

Turning pollution into art with Arduino

Media artist Dmitry Morozov — more commonly known as ::vtol:: — recently found a way to turn offensive pollution into enticing art through a portable, Bluetooth-connected device entitled Digioxide.


In an attempt to raise public awareness of the environmental pollution by artistic means, the Maker’s wireless creation uses a set of sensors to measure the presence of gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, and even dust in the air, which are translated into volts. An Arduino algorithmically then converts those volts into the shapes and colors you see below.

The interactive project utilizes an Arduino Nano (ATmega328), HC-06 Bluetooth module, gas and dust sensors, as well as an LG mobile printer.


The gadget was programmed to print vibrant colors in dirtier air and bright green colors when air was relatively clean. As an artist, ::vtol:: prefers the brighter colors.

“The more pollution I get, the more beautiful the images are… It’s a little bit ironic,” he explains.


The device’s mobile printer enables instant printing of this air “snapshot” that can either be left as an evidence on the place or given as a present to a passerby, ::vtol:: concludes.

Oh, and that nose, well that’s merely a visual effect. If you want to find out more about the project, head on over to the Maker’s website. From a wearale machine that turns tattoos into tunes to an electro-acoustic orchestra bot, check out all the latest creations from ::vtol:: here.

A wearable machine turns tattoos into music

This device reads tattoos and translates them into electronic sounds.

Moscow-based artist Dmitry Morozov — commonly referred to as ::vtol:: — has created a unique sound controller to read musical scores implanted in tattoos.


“This is a special instrument that combines [the] human body and [a] robotic system into a single entity that is designed to automate [the] creative process in an attempt to represent the artist and his instrument as a creative hybrid,” Morzov explained in a recent blog post.

The scanning instrument — which is aptly called Reading My Body is comprised of a metal railing, hand controllers and parallel black line sensors that move along the arm using a stepper motor. In addition, it includes a Nintendo Wii controller that uses an Open Sound Control mechanism to add more sounds when moved by the hand. A stepper motor guides the device along the inked lines, while the length of each bar coincides with the duration of an emitted tune.


On the hardware side, the musical creation is built around an Arduino Nano (ATmega328), a Nord Modular G2, a Symbolic Sound Kyma X, and a six-channel PVC pipe sound system.

According to ::vtol::, the tattoo is specifically designed to contain the maximum number of variable time slots between triggers. The Maker reveals it is possible to manually drive the velocity of the sensors’ movement, direction and step length so that, when combined, gives an infinite number of variations of reading patterns from hand. However, controlling the parameters and sensors’ movements can also be programmed to operate autonomously.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page as well as a number of the Maker’s other projects here.

Russian folk bot is an electro-acoustic orchestra

Moscow-based artist Dmitry Morozov has created a number of Arduino-powered projects covered by Bits & Pieces over the past year, including a musical tattoo reader and the ‘Signes de vie’ (‘Signs of Life’) installation.

His latest project? The gusli robot, which Morozov describes as a Russian folk bot and portable electro-acoustic orchestra.

Recently featured on the official Arduino blog, the folk bot, which is inspired by the oldest Russian multi-string plucked instrument, is powered by two Atmel-based Arduino Uno boards (ATmega328 MCU).

Additional key specs include:

  • Servo motors x6
  • DC motor x1
  • Stepper motor x1
  • Solenoids x3
  • Spings x8
Strings x38

“‘Gusli-samogudy’ means self playing gusli,” Morozov explained. “It’s very common charter is old Russian fairy tales – so by making it robotized I made [the] fairy tale come true.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page here.

Signs of Life with a fax machine and Arduino Uno

Dmitry Morozov describes his ‘Signes de vie’ (‘Signs of Life’) project as a light model of a simple cell colony built on the principles of one-dimensional cellular automaton. Interestingly, the unique light and sound mechanism is based on an old fax machine.

“A fluorescent dye is applied on special fax paper, [while the] thermal printing element is replaced by a row of 10 LEDs,” the Moscow-based artist explained. “As it goes through a step-by-step under the row of diodes, it leaves on a paper a glowing trace from short flashes: a row that corresponds to one generation of cellular automaton. Gradually, each of the rows fade and is being replaced by a new one, but the glowing time is enough to see the whole pattern of the colony.”

Thus, says Morozov, the paper becomes a kind of a chronicle of the colony’s life.

“One of the 256 algorithms (rules – more info) of the simplest one-dimensional cellular automation can be used. Those are selected by a switch,” he continued. “Additionally, there is a speed switch that selects appearance time-frame of each new generation in the range of 1 to 18 seconds.”

In addition to the above-mentioned fax machine, the project also features an Arduino Uno (Atmel ATmega328) and a small speaker through which an algorithmic composition is played – with pitch and spacing of repetitions directly dependent on the conditions of the selected rule.

You can read more about Morozov’s Signs of Life on the project’s official page here.