Dmitry Morozov has created an installation in Ljubljana, Slovenia, that uses the bio-electrical properties of his own blood to generate electronic music. The installation is rather chillingly titled “Until I Die.” It was presented at the Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in December.
Morozov was inspired by Luigi Galvani, the discoverer of electrical properties in animals, and Alessandro Volta, who developed the Voltaic pile, the conceptual starting point for all modern electric batteries, as well as Alexander Bogdanov, a Russian pioneer in hematology.
Over the course of eighteen months Morozov “donated” blood for the musical project, until he had amassed 4.5 liters, a quantity that was later diluted into 7 liters; he also took extra care in ensuring that the blood retained its original electro-chemical properties. Fascinatingly, he also donated the final 200 milliliters on-site, during the installation itself—it was drawn from Morozov’s arm “during the performance presentation, shortly before the launch of the installation.”
Using techniques I do not fully understand, Morozov was able to create a series of batteries using his own blood, which when hooked up to speakers generated curious electronic noises or, if you prefer, music: “A sound unit is connected to the main battery. It consists of voltage converters, buffer capacitors, an Axoloti sound module, a small booster with speakers and a display that shows the voltage after the conversion. This voltage (6.5–7 V) is the main operating voltage of the sound system.”
This device would be something that is in all but name me, that uses my vitality to create electronic sounds. Moreover, I become the observer, looking at my own performance by a device that exists as a result of my efforts and is located outside my body. Thus, although for only a short period of time, I can achieve my own creative existence. The brevity of the installation’s lifespan is a core ingredient. In its ephemerality it resembles a Buddhist colored-sand mandala, which is drawn as a part of a specific sacrament and requires extreme focus. It is then ritualistically dismantled, symbolizing the frailty of life. Exhibiting the installation after its launch means observing the swift decay of life.
You can find out more about the project at Morozov’s website—the bulk of the information is also included in the video below: