I am the Sun
In July 2022, VOLNA implemented its first educational art project at the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies in Yerevan, Armenia. Over the course of one month, the VOLNA team worked with 20 students to create an art object in a public space. The lab focused on issues of sustainability in design and art, and the final project was creating a work using renewable energy sources. The end result of the lab was an interactive light installation, which was installed at the bus stop in front of the main building of the TUMO School in Yerevan.
There is a Japanese proverb that “whoever finds himself is like the sun.” This idea is reflected in the interactive light installation created in collaboration with TUMO and the VOLNA collective. When looking at the installation from a distance, the viewer sees their reflection on a mirrored surface, but as they move closer an unexpected flash of light appears, evoking an emotional response.
This effect is meant to jolt the viewer out of their inner world and provoke in them new insights about themselves and their surroundings. By perceiving connections between themselves and nature, they recognize themselves as a part of it, similar to the sun illuminating everything around it.
The installation consists of 72 light modules that are activated with the help of sensors. In the evening, in addition to its main function it displays an animation that illuminates the bus stop. The name of the project also alludes to the fact that it is powered by solar panels that, as a sustainable source of energy, allow it to create its own light.
The lab was built on the principle of collective scaling and collaborative practices that are at the core of VOLNA’s artistic activities. During the lab, students collaborated with the artists, working through the installation’s creation from beginning to end. This was accompanied by thematic presentations covering intermediate results and a range of topics that would be encountered along the way.
In the first week of workshops, we covered artistic and conceptual design, 3D modeling, programming and researching visualizations, culminating with a presentation of a plan for the project. The second week covered prototyping and testing, 3D printing, working on the program code and culminated in a working prototype. The third week focused on serial production of installation components in the necessary quantity, followed by quality control and resulting in a set of assembled units for the future installation. The final week was dedicated to assembling the installation and setting it up at the permanent exhibition site, culminating with the unveiling of the working installation in TUMO Park on July 22, 2022.
- Concept, project and video: VOLNA
- Camera and photo: Polina Korotaeva, Hrachya Sevinyan, VOLNA
- Production: VOLNA, TUMO & TUMOonians
- Engineer: Arman Kirakosyan
- Programmers: Davit Kocharyan, Davit Ghonyan
- Coordinators: Grigor Martirosyan, Hrachya Sevinyan, Sara Mnatsakanyan
- Production team: Avet Harutyunyan, Artyom Hakobyan, Gor Davtyan, Grigor Martirosyan, Levon Marukyan, Garen Danageozian, Hrachya Sevinyan, Meri Avagyan, Meri Sargisyan, Neron Petrosyan, Sara Mnatsakanyan, Tigran Eloyan, Tigran Mkrtichyan
- Graphic designer: Simeon Zakaryan
- Curatorial team: Anush Gurgenyan, Elmira Sevyan, Tatev Ikhtaryan
- Curatorial text: Anna Ambardanyan
- TUMO team: Astghik Hambardzumyan, Diana Hovsepyan, Lusine Ishkhanyan, Haikanush Alvanjyan, Rafik Petrosyan
- Special thanks to: Eco Step Armenia, Arion Art Design and personally to Varazdat
- Translation and editing: William Cohen
- VOLNA art collective’s creative lab at TUMO is supported by Goethe-Zentrum Eriwan
- © VOLNA (2022)