When somebody puts a lot of effort into a project and really gives a lot of themselves to it, we say that it took “blood, sweat, and tears.” We can’t speak for Russian artist Vtol’s sweat and tears, but his latest exhibit, titled Until I Die, is definitely fueled by his blood. That’s not a metaphor for how much he’s invested in the exhibit: His blood is literally powering this thing.
Over the course of 18 months, Vtol collected and stored about 1.2 gallons of his own blood over the course of 18 months, using preservatives on the samples to prevent them from going bad. The blood was used as an electrolyte in a series of direct current batteries that also included copper and aluminum. The resulting batteries have a capacity of 1,000mAh; compare that to the iPhone 7 Plus, which has a 2,900mAh battery. Still, that’s enough to power a “small electronic algorithmic [synth] module,” as the artist described it, and a speaker for about eight hours.
Vtol cites two main reasons for undertaking this bold project, “the first one is my desire to create a technobiological hybrid device after several years of fruitful but exhausting work,” as he wrote on the exhibit’s website. Secondly, “The fact that my body’s most important fluid can animate a device designed as an extension of myself beyond my body is also very significant.”
The artist also cites historical medicine and the belief that life can be transferred or lengthened through blood as inspirations. That’s great (and also ew), just don’t try to power your phone with a blood battery. You’ll probably just end up with a big mess and a major dizzy spell.
Featured Image: ::vtol::