“Divider” is an autonomous light-music installation made by Dmitry Morozov, Russian media-artist, musician and engineer of strange-sounding mechanisms.  In this project, the divided and unstable system transforms into a set of binary states, which make light into a discrete message matrix, which, in turn, generates sound waves (a musical composition). Thus, the work attempts to use the experimental language of art to bring up and describe the global issues – is the universe discrete? Can we describe the universe with the language of energy, frequency, and vibration – in accordance with the testament of Nikola Tesla?


What have you made?

This project is an autonomous light-music installation. The main element of the piece is the construction fixed on the wall, with 7 powerful red lasers, which send light horizontally. 

What gave you the initial inspiration?

This work is a dedication to and is inspired by Rhythmicon, the world's first rhythm-machine created by Léon Theremin in 1931. Rhythmicon used the same principle, it featured rotating discs to interrupt the light rays, and optical sensors to detect passage of light through apertures, which was influencing how the rhythms were produced.

What is the original idea behind this project?

The central idea of the project “Divider” lies in an abstract artistic interpretation of the wave-particle duality concept that every physical object may be described mathematically in terms of wave quotations, as well as from a formalist point of view that conceives object as a particle or a particle system. As a textbook example of that duality, we can think of light as a particle (photon) flux, which works like an electromagnetic wave in various physical experiments. In the artwork, the rays are interrupted repeatedly and constantly, but not simultaneously – as to create a polyphase source of uncertain events.

How does it work?

The laser rays pass through several pc fans rotating on high speed, placed along whole length of the installation. The fans serve as dividers-modulators, which turn the ray into rhythmic impulses instead of the permanent ray. The frame opposite from the emitters has photo sensors, which register the presence or absence of the ray. Thus, the system has 7 independent binary variables, which become the basis for creation of sound composition. The speed of the each of fans is variable which leads to constant shift of modulation phases of the light rays.

How long did it take to make it real?

It took around 2 weeks to build the installation. 

How did you build it?

The project requires 4 Arduino Mega board, 42 fans with individual PWM control, 7 lasers and mono sound system.