constantine zlatev manufactures harmonious robotic gun flutes
all images courtesy of constantine zlatev
‘in the past, the natural artists worked primarily with natural materials. nowadays, we have mountains of discarded technology. these junkyards are the modern day quarries. and artists like me can make anything out of these resources. all of my recent works are made from salvaged industrial scraps and surplus technology that our society is burying itself in.’ san francisco-based artist constantine zlatev holds these statements as the driving force behind each of his creations. with this mentality, he is able to see the possibility to design something meaningful for the world we currently live in while using remnants of the past. following this ethos, he has developed a pair of installations called ‘the last gun’ and ‘chifte kavali.’
similar to the works of pedro reyes, each of the constructs consists of disabled weapons. more specifically, zlatev has transformed gun barrels into robotic double-flutes, which are played with compressed air. the mechanics are programmed and controlled through open-source electronics using an arduino microprocessor and a raspberry pi board.
full view of the installation
the installations graphically chart and then musically depict the rise and fall of annual U.S. arms exports. the instruments’ aural responses are based upon a value judgment – they are programmed to play scottish singer-songwriter eric bogle’s ‘and the band played waltzing matilda’, a famous song with somber melody meant to convey a strong anti-war message.
pneumatic pistons of ‘the last gun’
full installation view
‘chifte kavali’ AKA double-barrel flute
detail of the pistons