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Music by VICE

How to Turn a Tattoo Into an Experimental Instrument

We wonder how this would work out with a full sleeve.

by Zach Sokol
Mar 17 2014, 10:50pm

Reading My Body

Moscow-based media artist, Dmitry Morozov, better known as ::vtol::, created one odd instrument that we want to get our hands tattoos on. His project titled  includes a sound controller that uses tattoos as the source for a musical score. 

The device consists of arduino nano, a metal railing, hand controllers, and a black line sensor (on the tattoo). It then moves up and down the arm using a stepper motor to emit sound. The mechanism also includes a Nintendo Wii controller that uses an Open Sound Control mechanism to add more sounds when moved by the hand. 

The tattoo is specifically designed to contain "the maximum number of variable time slots between [sensor] triggers." The speed of the sensors can be controlled manually, giving an infinite number of reading patterns, and thus a variety of noises or even rhythms. 

We're wondering what it would sound like if this bad boy was set up on a sleeved-up arm, or anyone with a regrettable tramp stamp. Until then, watch a performance of the tattoo-strument in action.

See our coverage of ::vtol::'s past work here, and see his site for more.  Images courtesy of artist.


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tattoo art