Inventions

Fabulous inventions of Dr. af Urpelainen.
  • Spark generators


    Category: Inventions
    Collaborators: Koelse

    The spark generators are three electric sculptures that arc high voltage through the air. They create the Jacob’s ladder effect and generate sound in different ways.

  • Horse power


    Category: Inventions
    Collaborators: Zoran Srdić Janežič, Martin Podlogar

    After success of the Pig robot, Zoran and I got invited for another robotic project by Kapelica gallery in Ljubljana. Continuing with the animal theme, we decided that the next robot should be a horse. Kapelica specializes in bio art, se this one was to have some biological component as well. We chose microbial fuel cells as such element. In the final piece, we had a life size horse moving its four legs based on movement and proximity sensors and signal from a microbial culture.

  • Glassworks #1


    Category: Inventions
    Collaborators: Urša Vidic, Zoran Srdić Janežič

    A tree enclosed in a glass bottle, with fog periodically filling and vacating the bottle, conjuring up images of misty mountains in China where the immortals live. Glassworks #1 was an independent project by Urša Vidic for the 2016 edition of Svetlobna gverila lights festival in Ljubljana. I got involved because I agreed to participate in V zavetrju časa where this piece also appeared.

  • Invocation of Asta


    Category: Inventions
    Collaborators: Meta Grgurevič

    This automatic magician is an amalgam of engineering, physics and the occult. The premise is from ceremonial magick, which holds that the course of events can be affected by drawing appropriate symbols. Invocation of Asta repeatedly lifts and casts little golden sticks. The hope is that eventually a magickally significant shape will come up, and a magickal phenomenon is observed.

  • Pig robot


    Category: Inventions
    Collaborators: Zoran Srdić Janežič

    Through a common friend (thanks Ra!), I heard that Zoran Srdić of The Gulag Institute for Contemporary Arts and Cultures needed some assistance with electronics. He was already involved in a long series of works about pigs and men, and for the newest part he wanted to create machine pigs and machine men. As I had never really built a robot before, I though this would be a great opportunity to have some impact on that field as well. So I signed up for the project.

  • Brain stimulator


    Category: Inventions

    This is a piece of performance gear I built for Koelse show in 2015 edition of H2Ö festival, Turku, Finland. The theme of the show was given in somewhat cryptic terms: Twisting the progress of time, water, mechanics and occultism and even lotta spiritus post installation. Since I was in Finland at that time, I decided to contribute something.

  • Time inverting hourglass


    Category: Inventions
    Collaborators: Meta Grgurevič

    Another project together with Meta and a group of other people. As always with her, the aim was to find something very simple and basic about the laws of nature, and twist it into something impossible. This time, we chose time. As suggested to me by an unnamed person (or maybe I know him? I just completely forgot who told me this), to invert time you just have to get the sand in a hourglass run upwards. I happened to mention this idea to Meta when she was despairing over what to make for the 31st Ljubljana graphic biennale. She liked the idea, and now such an hourglass exists.

  • Biafra! sequencer


    Category: Inventions

    I built this sequencer during Hrup smo mi - Noise is us festival organized by Circulacija2. The workshop Advanced electronics and electronic sound workshop by Uwe Schuler and Jördis Drawe from KulturGüter- Schuppen was based on Uwe’s LuSy_Seq sequencer, which is what powers Biafra.

  • Sound to lights interface


    Category: Inventions
    Collaborators: Jaša

    Like the circle drawing robot Bowed, this one went to Venice Biennale in Venice, as part of Jaša’s Utter show in the Slovenian pavilion. Utter was sponsored by Arcadia Lightwear, providing lights for the installation. One of the ideas was to make the lights to follow the sound, so that poetry and music and everything would translate to a visual effect. I do not know if the problem was technical, financial, project management related, or what, but for some reason they could not provide a solution for that. So, the next one to call for help was me. This article is about the solution.

  • Bowed, a circle drawing robot


    Category: Inventions
    Collaborators: Meta Grgurevič, Jaša

    Here is yet another project that I made as part of a team assembled by Meta and that went to a show by Jaša. This time it was the Venice Biennale, where Jaša had his show Utter in the Slovenian pavilion. In addition to this circle drawing robot, I also made a custom sound to lights interface for controlling the lighting fixture of the pavilion. Hopefully it has its own page here soon.

  • Andreja's pufferfish


    Category: Inventions
    Collaborators: Nina Orlić

    We made a site specific sculpture with my ex-girlfriend Nina, in the apartment of our friend Andreja. Andreja was in India practicing yoga, and we were staying at her place in the meantime. We thought the place could be nicer with a small extra touch, so we built this thing. It was quite a surprise for Andreja, because we did not tell her anything beforehand. We just set it up, wrote usage instructions on bathroom wall, and went to hiding in the seaside. Luckily, she liked it.

  • Crystal C levitation machine


    Category: Inventions
    Collaborators: Meta Grgurevič, Jaša

    This project was hugely influential in my life. In the summer of 2013, I was feeling not so happy with my life in Helsinki and, for some undiscernible twist of psychology, I decided to reset everything. I quit my software engineering position at Documill, gave up my apartment, threw away everything I could not not fit into a backpack, and bought a one-way ticket to Berlin. By incredible stroke of luck (not the only one I got during that very chaotic and magical period of my life), Meta contacted me again. It had already been some years since we built the first levitation machine. Now she was about to work on that topic again. As I happened to be about as free as a human being can, I immediately agreed to come to Ljubljana and make another, bigger and better levitation machine with her.

  • First levitation machine


    Category: Inventions
    Collaborators: Meta Grgurevič

    In spring 2012, when I was still living in Helsinki, Koelse, got an email from an artist in residency in Helsinki international artist programme. She asked for technical assistance for a project involving building a Tesla coil. After discussing this invitation for collaboration, we reached the understanding that a) we have no idea how to build a Tesla coil and b) the whole idea sounds quite unsafe. Because of these conclusions, we turned down the offer. The reply we got was an intriguing one: If Tesla coils are out of question, how about a levitation machine? This artist certainly seemed to have curious interests. Since I thought she has to be an interesting person, so I signed up for levitation machine collaboration. It turned out to be only a first in long series of works we have made together with Meta.

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