An abstract representation of transformation and resilience directed by Maxim Zhestkov, Volumes is an observation of digital sculptures consisting of millions of spherical particles. Acting as universal symbols of elements making up complex systems—be it networks, societies, or entire galaxies—the spheres flow, attract and communicate, engaging in endless dialogue.

Affected by forces from the outside, the structures mutate and, eventually, resist the destruction. External influences are concealed by the artist, and one might perceive them as time, entropy, destiny, or anything else—uncontrollable and unpredictable, superior and indifferent. Collapsing the pieces of digital fabric and tearing them apart, invisible agents of chaos initiate a reaction in the structures that adapt to metamorphoses.


Selected screenings:
Ars Electronica Festival - Linz, Austria, 2018
Art Futura 2018/2019 - UK, Spain, USA, Mexico, 2018

For more information and images:
Press Kit

Examining the ability to change and recover, Zhestkov uses simple yet expressive visual methods. Starting with the quietness of black and white, he reveals vibrant colors hidden inside the structures. Uncovered by relentless wind blowing the particles away, the movement of color is mesmerizing, meaningful, and enigmatic, like an unknown language, in which we can notice the underlying patterns but can not capture the encrypted message.

This implicit synchronization is not accidental. In his art practice, Zhestkov examines how digital and physical worlds reflect each other and how the same forces and principles transform and intensify moving from one reality to the other. Inspired by patterns on the skin of sea creatures, the flux of color in Volumes looks eerily familiar and makes the viewer wonder where the border between organic and inorganic, humane and artificial, can be placed.

Systems in the film are connected to biological world by their cyclical nature as well. Impulses hidden inside the structures spread and return rhythmically, as neural oscillations or heartbeats. Emotional reactions to the outside effects or searching signals similar to sonar calls, their function is covert, and their message might be interpreted in manifold ways.

Particular formations examined by the artist are reminiscent of geological processes, further expanding the link between living and inanimate in Zhestkov's works. Colliding as tectonic plates, particle structures coalesce and disperse, giving birth to new forms appearing where old ones crumbled down.

Digital installations featured on Volumes are created both by the artist and the algorithm he built: while Zhestkov sets fundamental principles for the formation and the movement of the structure, its dynamically changing form is generated by a computer simulation. Joining forces with a digital actor, the artist investigates how familiar principles and concepts from our physical reality reflect and mutate in parallel worlds that we create.