reGENERATION is a research project which investigates the pollution of water sources in megacities and offers a new way of decoding data on the state of the urban ecosystem. The project raises the question of the need for regeneration, that is the renewal of the relationship between the human and the environment, as well as addresses the contemporary generation, provoking the action. It opens up the debate and draws attention to the current ecological situation, which is exacerbated by ongoing military operations and anthropogenic interventions in natural ecosystems. The synthetic sculptures present a different kind of aesthetics, not an ideal beauty, but one created by all the disruptive processes going on in the world. Introducing both digital and biological forms of computation, the project searches for new forms and aesthetics, exploring how digital, physical, chemical and biological processes can program form. Its aesthetic form embodies ecological agency.


The synthetic sculptures are based on Wolf H. Hilbertz's BiorockTM technology, developed to restore coral reefs and marine life. This technology allows crystal structures to grow over the metal substrate stimulated by the process of electrolysis - that is, by passing an electric current through a metal substrate placed in a volume of water. The spatial learning system is based on the study of water composition, with samples taken from local water sources. The form of the art object is directly programmed by the chemical composition of the water and is its hybrid, bio-synthetic interpretation. Each object is thus unique and created in interaction with the environment, and is also an identifier of the ecological conditions of a particular location, showing the history of its ecosystem.


In August - September 2022 reGENERATION project has been investigating 3 different sites with its unique conditions of water sources, presenting 3 different synthetic sculptures:  PETRA, ATIS and ETRA


The synthetic sculpture PETRA, presented at the Sevkabel port in St-Petersburg, is based on the study of the waters of the Baltic Sea.  PETRA's morphology is informed by the dataset of metal debris collected from the bottom of the river Neva and the bay. The sculpture tells the story of St.Petersburg, being predominantly rubbish from shipbuilding, bridge construction, intensive industry and traces of wars and blockades. The creation of the physical object itself (the electrolysis process) involves water from the bay, programming the porosity and pigmentation of the biorock crystal through its molecular composition. Chemicals and metals present in the water ecosystem start to create the aesthetics of the project. The observation of synthetic sculpture allows us to explore the archaeology of the city through the composition of the water. We discover traces of active contaminants from agricultural industry as well as large quantities of metal microparticles. The structure of PETRA crystals is an identifier of such pollutants and impurities in water bodies in St. Petersburg. 


The sculpture ATIS, presented at the MMOMA in Moscow, is based on samples of Moscow tap water. For the process of electrolysis we use water composition identical to tap water of Moscow central district, thereby studying how water composition influences shaping on a micro scale. ATIS' morphology is programmed through a morphological interpretation of Dmitry Prigov's statement (1). ATIS dialogues with Prigov's “new sincerity”, responding to his quotation, which hovers with a halo over the entrance to the MMOMA,  through its morphological formation. If Dmitry Prigov's work reads as the antithesis to the absurdity of late Soviet and post-Soviet culture, ATIS addresses the contemporary generation, offering to rethink the established canons and habits of society through a closer connection to the environment and involvement in the processes taking place within it. 


For ETRA sculpture, the authors studied the composition of the water in the Iset River. The data obtained by analyzing the pollution and chemical composition of the water is used to create a digital sculpture whose porosity and volume vary depending on the parameters studied. 


reGENERATION is an on-going research which aims to create a provocative exploration of massive disruptions which are currently taking place on our planet through an art practice. With the global environmental disaster caused by ongoing military action, environmental organisations are becoming powerless. By the end of 2022, over 35 environmental organisations and individual experts have been declared "foreign agents" and their activities banned. Among these organisations are those that have been protecting rivers, lakes and oceans in Europe and Asia for over 20 years. Today art plays a crucial role in the search for any means of action, communication and regeneration of postwar landscapes. reGENERATION is not only the regeneration of matter into object form, but also the regeneration of the relationships between the different layers of our ecosystem and society, as well as its relationship with the planet. 



 (1) "Citizens! Feel the approaching deadlines, deadlines of day and night, seasons, ages, centuries, epochs, calps and eons!"  D.Prigov




Artists: Maria Kuptsova, Marina Muzyka

Project team: Gleb Andreev, Denis Kozovec

Curator: Olga Vad

Producers: Natalia Nefedova, Daria Epine

Images by: Nikita Gusev, Alexandra Mikhailova, Natalia Pyatkina