Anna Martynenko

Vibrissae, 2021

as part of the exhibition of Nova Art finalists, curated by Snezhana Krjsteva, Sevkabel Port, St. Petersburg

Vibrissae are a special sensory organ found in many mammals, as well as in some species of birds and fish. They are long mechanosensitive stiff hairs located in various parts of the body. Vibrissae are a kind of acoustic antennae: they pick up the smallest vibrations of air currents and transmit nerve impulses to the brain, which creates a three-dimensional picture of the world around us. Human ancestors also had vibrissae, but they were lost in the process of evolution.

The artist proposes to create a series of electronic senses that will allow a person to receive additional information about the environment. The author is interested in the city as a human habitat. It can be a vibrissa for footsteps - which allows you to hear the sound of your own footsteps in noisy places and also explore the nature of surfaces through sound; a vibrissa for wind - it is sensitive to the strength of the wind and converts this data into an audible signal; vibrissa for color point - which makes visible the color of a single point from the surrounding space; etc. These devices are independently powered and are tightly attached to the body, becoming a sort of an extension of it. Following the signals from the sensors, a person can explore the urban environment, determine coordinates in space and build his or her routes.

The artist has implemented a vibrissa for footsteps, with the help of which one can explore the character of different surfaces by listening to the audio signal from the device: the video and graphic sheets present the research of Sevkabel Port public space and the adjacent territory.

Cameraman - Ilya Davydov