Borut Savski’s Strained Structures

April 8, 2010

Borut Savski’s artwork Strained Structures (2008) is deeply rooted in Slavic culture and it’s an intuitive linguistic journey through English, Slovene and Croatian… Let’s see how Savski connects etymology with electronic mechanisms…

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Strained Structures by Borut Savski, photo: Nada Mihajlovic

“If I make a wild supposition that throughout the human culture new words are being derived from older ones – or from one language to another – in order to support new meanings, and that the similarity of words is conserved and points to some previous rudimentary word and meaning – then I can present a thesis that defines the field of Being:- bitje (Slovene): beating of the heart, of clock – the symbolism of an (autonomous) entity / being that is alive, the notion of the dimension of time, that it belongs to – representing the presence of being in the moment and in the time span;

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Strained Structures by Borut Savski, photo: Nada Mihajlovic

– bice (Croatian): the softer derivation of the Slovene word, that bears the same meanings, and additionally also a direct idea to future. In Slovene: bice = bo, maybe also as an ancient root of the word that in time became bog – (English: god), maybe as an idea of the hope which is in the future – in connection to the word boljše (English: better; or in Slovene Prekmurje region: bogše) –and at the same time the delegation of hope to bog/god.

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Strained Structures by Borut Savski

ben (Italian), bon, beau (French), etc.

– to be (English), being: the same word-meaning root with all the basic derivations of self-identification and self-creation – being, become, belong, begin, before…

Metaphor incarnated
This project deals with relatively basic research into autonomous structures / systems – mechanical moving organons, although not exclusively them. It is about basic elements that have previously been strained and then in a particular way interconnected, so that, in the final stage, now intertwined, they make up a structure to which all the strains of the basic elements are transferred.

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Strained Structures by Borut Savski

I tried to create a kind of twisting body – a morphological object. The secret is in the use of torsionally twisted plastic elements that when fixed (at least two together) at one end create a transfer of torsion energy to the whole of a structure. The condition is that on the other end the elementary structure is rooted to the point that is not directly connected to the first end of the basic structure. It is however desirable that the final combination of such elements create a structure that is self-contained – and ‘strained’ as a whole.

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Strained Structures by Borut Savski, photo: Nada Mihajlovic

The result is an interesting cybernetic system, that has built-in energy (potential energy) – and a number of properties, that make it ‘more bodylike, more organic, more live’. From physics we know that potential energy likes to change into kinetic (moving) energy– and this is the motivation for building this object. I wanted especially to eliminate the usual omnipresent (and well understood) rotary movement (and the transfer of of movements with wheels and strings) and replace it with the more primary method: translation movement. Of course we are in the domain of building autonomous machines popularly known as robots.

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Strained Structures by Borut Savski, photo: Nada Mihajlovic

Strained structure is a re-invention of two principles: the Moebius structure (the loop I ‘invented’10 years ago) and most of all the reinvention of the Buckminster Fuller “tensegrity” principle. I came across English word “tensegrity” (combination: tensional integrity; integrity as a whole, unification by the use of mechanical tension). Both concepts and reasoning are totally conforming. The re-invention happens when the path towards it is totally independent and all the necessary steps are made.” (Text by Borut Savski, taken from the official site and the catalogue of Device_art 3.009, curated by Kontejner)

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Strained Structures by Borut Savski, photo: Nada Mihajlovic

Borut Savski was born in 1960 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. From 1984 he worked at Radio Student, in 1997-2000 took part in Ministry of Experiment, platform for media research. He co-organized web and radio based XLR. In 1998 he took part at Ars Electronica. From 1999 he ran a radio show about sound and concepts of algorithms and improvisation.

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Situations by Borut Savski, photo by Miha Fras

Since 1999 he has built metaphoric machines that use different aspects of autonomy (=life) and motorics (=motivation) – as objects for installations or performances. He co-organizes discursive and social events and/or platforms for artistic self-production (Intermediate Spaces Festival in Graz and Ljubljana; interdisciplinary space Cirkulacija 2 at the former Rog factory). He makes live improvisation music and video performances, as well as music for contemporary dance. He is a member of  Trivia Art Association. (bio taken from Kontejner)

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