Dmitry Morozov aka ::vtol:: is a transdisciplinary artist and researcher, based in Moscow. With a work style that shifts between contemporary art and the aesthetics of technological experimental setups, ::vtol:: belongs to a new generation of artists who consider their work not only in a culturally anchored tradition, but rather expand their context to new technological developments and tendencies. His works reflect fundamental physical facts, technical aspects and receptive to generative processes of sound and space.

With stupa, ::vtol:: created an aperture at the edge of absurdity, that combines elements of Dada with scientific basic research in an artistic work. Starting from experimental structures to illustrate the functional principles and the structures of gravity, stability and self-organisation, the result becomes a hybrid object of accomplished experiment and subtle parody.

The object is oscillating between stability and instability due to various motors, weights and ratios involved. Aesthetically speaking, stupa could easily be an experimental set-up of basic research on self-organized locomotion or balance in aviation technology or robotics, but in this case there are also contradictory elements in the technical arrangement that counteract the intended purpose. The generation of stability and balance – as is a natural process of our body -, turns into an exciting challenge for the physical forces and illustrates the complexity of the underlying processes. The physical object can be simplified described as a multi-sectional pendulum that is acting in two phases – stabilization and resonance – and is driven by a recursive system.

Composed of numerous small motors, actuators, a digital gyroscope/accelerometer and a single-channel sound system, the device performs a multiaxial choreography of gestures of balance, unbalance and own resonance. In the “stabilization phase”, the motors interact with the data of the gyroscope to balance and prevent excessive movements of the object; all variables interact and balance each other. During the “resonance phase”, the data will be inverted, which will cause the object to swing around all axes. A minor intervention, changing the sign, results in a massive change in the entire operation of this fragile system. The amplitude of the oscillation increases continuously under the induced self-resonance up to a peak value. Once this threshold value is reached, the stabilization process is initiate. The “consolidation system” takes over, establishes the balance and finally gives the impulse to slide back into the phase of mechanical self-oscillation.

The data of the gyroscope directly influence the sound generation and thus contribute to an additional dimension of the work. The inherent process becomes evident beyond its inconspicuous progression.