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This Tiny Satellite Sculpture Is a Solar-Powered Synthesizer

Media artist ::vtol:: imagines a tiny satellite that measures the part of Earth’s atmosphere altered by humans.
Images courtesy the artist

A kinetic sound object becomes an “artificial satellite of Earth” and “inhabited sound art space station”—one that measures and researches the sound swirling inside the anthroposphere (the Earth’s atmosphere modified by humans)—in orbitalochka, the newest work by media artist ::vtol::, a.k.a., Dimitry Morozov. “The device works in autonomous and extremely abstract way,” explains Morozov. “Featuring a built-in radio FM transmitter, it transmits radio signals at frequency 99mHz being available for all inhabitants of the Earth.”


Morozov bases the sound signals on the generative sound processes created with the Patchblocks, a buildable and minimal DIY synthesizer kit. The sound signals also react to a light sensor that reacts to changes in the satellite’s position in space triggered by the solar cell position relocating its mass.

“The solar cells function as sensors and provide CV (control voltage) for changing the parameters of the sound program,” Morozov says. “The station also processes and transmits a pre-recorded lecture by Sergey Kasich: 'Sound art community in the context of development of modern technologies.'”

Visually interesting, orbitalochka also has a sort of ambient electronic beauty to its sound. Like the sounds that a satellite’s radio unit might transmit and receive as it hurtles around the Earth.

Click here to see more of ::vtol::’s work.


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