Drinking Set for Irises

June 2018, installation at FFTN, Saint-Petersburg.

In May of the 2016 year I spent a week in the Borskaya floodplain. Arriving with a desire to look at the clouds and leaves, I soon realized that this technique is no longer valid: fishermen, cladmen and hunters looked much more appropriate in this oak-tree forest than the detached-dreamy artist. To become a member of the cenosis, it was necessary to engage in some kind of functional cycle.

A narrow, fast, cold river with brown water from loam was turning along a flat meadow flooded with the Volga flood. There were also swampy lowlands. Between these expected communities was not the most common in our time pasture oak forest. Widespread large spreading trees, between them a beautiful soft grass with flowers. Such a spacious grove in Western culture is associated with the image of a genitive, powerful and calm nature, although it can only survive if cattle grazing in it and collecting windfall. And a recent grassroots fire: black sticks crackled in place of the turf underfoot. Both meadow and forest grass cover were destroyed: lilies of the valley and irises mixed on the proluzhunah between the trees.

Irises were included with me in the execution. Including last year's deadwood - I brought water from the river for their open seed boxes.


You can compare two types of reliability: plants and technical assemblies.

Reliability of plants reveals itself through sowing. It is necessary to fulfill some of the most common conditions (temperature, humidity, substrate, light, regime) so that the seeds become active (sometimes after many years of immobility) and engage in growth and formation of the body. Their independence is surprising and a bit offensive. They do not need care and attention, they have enough acceptable ranges of significant environmental parameters. If there is an error in providing these ranges, then the catastrophe of young seedlings will be an independent process: it does not necessarily happen to interfere with it in order to correct the error. To fix here means to re-start, to start anew.

In technical assemblies, you need to debug every link, every action. If there are particles that do not require this, then only because they have already been debugged and configured elsewhere by other hands. Of such reliable particles, reliable assemblies are assembled, from them even larger reliable assemblies and so on, until the scale of reliability begins to look wonderful. But this is not a miracle, it is a pyramid of hundreds of small, simple reliability. Immersed in their ensemble, you can fix very, very many mistakes - of course, at the cost of frustrating clocks search hours in logic or the execution of structures and functions. This clock is filled with deaf, stubborn irritation, attention, concern.


Anything can be combined with anything in one working outline: the question is only in the number of transitional (transferring) nodes. In flea markets, things that control water flow around the heaps near the pieces that control electricity, next to piles of pieces, control things that control electricity. Aliexpress delivers on the whole planet any nodes of medium and low levels of connectivity. And the low level here means the widest range of switching capabilities.

This foggy, dispersed connectivity seeps into the residential arrays of cities, condensing in children's circles of robotics on the first floors of the towers. Why do children living in a difficult working space between a heavy urban infrastructure and a totally weightless gadget environment also fuss with microcontrollers? Will she be able to prepare them for life in the technosphere, which behaves as an independent-reliable, imitating the reliability of the forest, rather than the engine node? And hiding its fragile and gigantic connectivity, its diligently served unreliability?

Obsolete pleasure of fussing with a bicycle: using a wire, then an insulating tape, then another wire, then another tape (but still fall off).


How does connectivity become entanglement?

The functional cycle has a resolving power. The dimension of perception: 1/18 second in humans (for sight, hearing, touch), 1/30 for a fighting fish, 1/3 for a grape snail. This dimension sets the time dimension of our worlds, determines the existence of various possibilities, perceptions, actions, things.

You can define the environment parameters, under which water, program, tenderness, anxiety, construction, stubbornness will be possible. You can determine the price of this entanglement (environment module): what will become impossible. Will it turn out to include anger in the assembly of the drinkers, if someone (which almost inevitably) destroys its connectivity with its clumsiness?


In one old theory of plant physiology, it was understood as a filtration process. The vector of the filtration of the substances coming from the medium was directed from the root tips to the reproductive organs, and each new "tier" of its organs with an ever more elegant form and function was due to the filtration done by the previous tier.

The fluid, fluid image of this physiology was in contrast to the prevalent then (under the influence of the first successes