“Zero City” is a number of elevator shafts of different length. Their spatial structure resembles a city where the role of each building is to move in a vertical direction. All the elevators are programmed the same way and act as a pack carrying out the general task despite the absence of a single control center.
Concerted action of the pack is based on the following two incentives: to give and to receive emptiness. An elevator that gets incoming transmits it by sending an empty platform to the floor chosen by the program. The elevator’s doors open on the chosen floor.The elevator of the closest shaft receives the signal and then goes to the same floor and opens the doors across from the doors of the first elevator.
Thus, we see the signal transfer as the transfer of emptiness throughout the city of the free-running elevators. A signal received in one place can move throughout the whole number of elevators or can subside completely. The length of the way which can be done by emptiness depends on many factors. The message transfer is interrupted if: one of the elevator shafts gets lower than the sending link; or a called elevator is carrying out the transfer of another batch of emptiness and can not arrive on time; if in that place where the call signal is directed to the city ends and there are no elevator shafts which can meet the call; if the waiting time of the transferring lift and the arrival time of the receiving one didn’t coincide. The looser elevator just “throws out” emptiness and comes back down waiting for a new call or a system’s incentive for a new attempt of transfer.
We can see the chaos of absurd attempts of free-running robots to get through to each other, to coincide in time and space in order to create their local time-space. Gradually, the elevators “forget” the directions in which they never manage to transfer a message and with each attempt the way of emptiness becomes a little bit longer; the life time of one batch of “nothing” slowly grows.
Zero City turns out a four-dimensional coordinate structure which endlessly measures itself and its boundaries in order to find ways how to increase the time as the main source for ”nothing”.
From the other side, perhaps, “Zero City” is a just metaphor that describes human consciousness that left its body and dispersed in the world of digital hierarchies where elevators can carry only emptiness reacting to an outer impulse or standing still in its absence.
stainless steel, acrylic, plastic, electronic components, motors, microcontrollers, table, carriages, photocells, LEDs.
The project was implemented with the support of the Jewish Museum and tolerance center and the V-A-C Foundation.
Programming: Nikolay Chetverkin