This artist powers batteries with his own blood
Moscow-based media artist Dmitry Morozov, known at vtol, has spent 18 months collecting enough of his own blood to power an electronic sound installation.
Until I die consists of five batteries, together powering a synth module that plays generative sound compositions via a small speaker. Each of these batteries, however, is made up of 11 storage tanks full of Morozov’s blood – 4.5 litres in total, diluted to seven litres and mixed with preserving agents.
The project hinges on the basis that blood contains enough minerals to serve as an effective electrolyte. Copper and aluminum metals were used as anode and cathode respectively, with each battery able to generate around 0.6 V. Together, the five batteries generate 3 V and a current intensity of 1000mAh – enough to power a sound module and speaker, thanks to voltage converters and buffer capacitors.
In his summary of the project, Morozov notes the influence of eighteenth-century Italian physicist Luigi Galvani, who pioneered the field of bioelectricity thanks to the accidental discovery that the muscles of dead frogs’ legs twitch when struck by electricity.
The artist also nods to the work of Russian scientist Alexander Bogdanov, who founded the Soviet Union’s Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion. “In the 1920s he dedicated himself to improving the technology of blood transfusion, which he viewed not only as a medically necessary life-saving procedure but also as a metaphysical act yielding a brotherhood of blood among revolutionaries and, later, among all the citizens of a new and progressive nation,” writes Morozov.
In 1908, Bogdanov published a science fiction novel, Red Star. Morozov says this is where the scientist “first described his ideas about the possibility of achieving immortality and eternal youth through blood transfusion”. (An idea that, ironically, still refuses to die)
“He was not only a physician and scientist but also a philosopher and communist ideologue,” adds Morozov. “He actually put his studies into practice, verging on occultism; his practices were more closely related to Soviet mysticism than to medicine. In many respects my installation is a similar metaphysical act, but between man and machine rather than between human beings.”
You can read more about Morozov’s work on his website.
Source: prostheticknowledge Images: vtol