Kapelgraf Zero-G, Vadim Fishkin

A large glass orb filled with an electrical circuit designed to experiment with floating drops.
Vadim Fishkin, Kapelgraf Zero-G, 2003

Experiment with floating drops and installation, created for MIR Campaign 2003

Vadim Fishkin: "I remember the impression a black-and-white telecast from a Soviet space station made on me as a child. I recall the moment when a cosmonaut poured out water from a glass - the suspense and transformation of the water into amorphous shapes and different oblong drops captured my attention so much that I forgot about the people levitating around it.

Many years later, it all came back to me with a Stanislaw Lem novel. The story was about extraterrestrials from Venus who described our material civilization with accuracy, but failed to
recognize people as individuals and creators. Instead, they talked about particles of some strange, soft (liquid) mass, continuously separating into oblong drops. It remained for them a puzzling substance - a form retaining information - that they couldn't decipher.

The Kaplegrafs are devices that can translate data into the language of "water drops" and use water to convey meanings that transcend normal linguistic conventions. In normal gravity, the Kapelgraf translates a time-based substance (sound-voice) into a more substantial but still ephemeral substance (drops of water). In microgravity conditions, the drops remained in space, changing direction in mid-air according to the subtle variations in the balance of forces on the aircraft. The coloured drops were programmed to “visualise” sequences of Johann Strauss' Blue Danube while levitating around in elliptical paths.

Credits

Producer: DUM (Ljubljana)
Drop rhythm by Tomaz Grom
Special thanks to Bojan Vukovic for technical assistance
Commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and the MIR Consortium (Arts Catalyst, Projekt Atol, V2, Leonardo Olats, Multimedia Complex for Actual Arts)
Flight: MIR Campaign 2003
Funded by the European Commission Culture 2000 Fund and Arts Council England

Exhibition

MIR: Art in Variable Gravity, Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK (Arts Catalyst/MIR)