My friend and collaborator Olivia Robinson (from the Spectres of Liberty Ghost Church project) has a new project she's working on with another friend, Daniela Kostova. It's called Waste to Work, and they've been collecting sweat and turning it into batteries! Here's the press release for the opening of the project in Schenectady, NY:
Have you ever thought of sweat as a renewable energy source? New media artists Daniela Kostova and Olivia Robinson will do just that when they perform Waste to Work at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 28 at the Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium.
Inspired by the significant labor and electric industry histories of upstate New York, Waste to Work explores the transformation of labor into electric power, using sweat as the link. Sweat is the perfect medium: it is an electrolyte that can be used to make galvanic batteries--"waste" that can be harvested from our labors--and remains an extremely personal commodity that holds our scent, essential salts, fats, pheromones.
Kostova and Robinson will use video and an installed cabinet of batteries to illustrate how they developed batteries powered by their own and others' sweat. The power produced by the sweat batteries will illuminate a world map of LED shapes that designate centers of manufacturing and labor.
To create the sweat-powered batteries, the artists combined the practices of scientists and artists. Working with researchers a the Center for Biotechnology at Rensselaer, the artists developed batteries that are powered using sweat they collect in specially designed costumes they wear when participating in different kinds of physical labor.
The sweat-powered batteries are based on galvanic cells, which require two sources of electrolyte medium separated by a thin porous wall to create a chemical reaction with zinc and carbon to produce power. Human sweat is an electrolyte medium and will be used to power the battery.
Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium
15 Nott Terrace Hts
Schenectady, NY 12308