DIY Honey Batteries & Beeswax Light and Sound

by Ralf Schreiber and Christian Faubel. installation and performance

The installation “DIY Honey Batteries” is meant to show how honey batteries can empower little robots who sing on a table for their audience. This connection between technology and nature continues in the artists’ performance “Beeswax Light and Sound”, a performance using overhead projectors, unrefined raw beeswax, pick-up microphones and analog kinetic objects. The self-made candles and the dipping of electronic circuits into the beeswax are turning out delicate dim lights and low sounds.

“It will be a small installation, linked to our performance and workshop – small, simple analogue electronic circuits that produce small movements or minimal sounds. We use the small honey batteries that work like galvanic piles. Honey is a bit acid, an I use a very thin file of copper and a thin file of aluminium. The acid from the honey starts to produce electricity. One sheet of aluminium and one sheet of copper produces a half watt. I need four or five in a series to reach 2.5 voltage, to power the tiny creatures.”

“The idea to dip them in the liquid wax was developed here. We realized it’s a nice way to make them safer re humidity or water. Also they become very organic. Then we connect these small things covered with the wax to organic structures, like a small tree, and fix it with solar panels also completely covered with wax. The result looks very very organic.”

“A lot of the circuit electronics are very simple. You build it and then you can change it, but it is not possible to control everything. These electronic circuits are very close to the basic idea of what is electronic – you find it in technology, but you find it also in biological systems. So the focus is on what is electricity: is there maybe something like a soul in electricity? Is it possible? Also on doing your own electricity. You do it with solar panel and then the small creature is fixed in place and receives energy from the light conditions of the place. It will live at this place as well. They are also very playable.
It is possible to bring this simple electronic outside, thus it is maybe a little bit more close to nature. It sort of imitates neural behavior. And then you see a small insect running over the circuits, and you see it’s not living…”

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