Mindwave architecture: An interview with V4W.ENKO

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V4W.ENKO creates sound and visual compositions based on custom applications using Max; a visual coding tool used to create interactive visuals, installations and complex interactive environments. Evgeniy Vashchenko is a Ukrainian artist working in the fields of live electronics, installation, sculpture, sound and video art since 2007.

Can you talk about your background and how you started?

I was studying art and music when I was 16 and started my first experiments with sound immediately. Years later, I got the most important education for my activities – a bachelor’s degree in architecture (and a master’s a bit later) and started experimenting there. After 6-7 years of architecture I was back to music again with new media tools for sound and visuals. So now I’m running a music label (the most complicated job for me which requires a high level of organisation), my art project v4w.enko, which is my favourite and most important as there is really space for freedom in creation of new media installations, music compositions, audiovisual collages, sonic sculptures, music performances, etc. The third project is sound-design for films which is also interesting in terms of creating specific sonic spaces.

Why did you decide to work with algorithms?

Good question. It was impossible not to decide that as my background is in architecture. I received a specific experimental architecture education where students’ minds are changed in the second or the third year already to an understanding of nature as a really complicated algorithmic structure. Yes, architecture is a discipline which teaches you different kinds of algorithms for creative processes. I decided it is really important to bring this approach to music. Then I just had to find the right algorithms which could build interesting compositions and forms in music.

You work in various media – sound / video / even apps. Can you talk about your approach to each of them?

Most of my interest is basically to find nice algorithms and to connect them together. When the structure (algorithmic composition) is ready and /or somehow working, it is possible to connect different kinds of media from there. I create apps, then I create the sound and the video from that app.

The media scene has developed a lot since you started – thanks to technology (the growth of AR, VR projects,etc). How does your work reflect these developments?

Yes, it’s developed pretty much. I would like to stick to the traditional ways of exposing my work. But yes, I’ve done some experiments with VR. AR and VR will always be for a specific audience. My focus is basically “this” space and how is it possible to work with the physical reality of spaces in human life. My roots might be in architecture for the public and the space and I like “real” textures as high quality sounds will always be different to real sounds. I work with synthetic materials only basically as generative systems, but I also like to make behaviour analysis of the physical world or write emulation systems of nature behaviours etc..

Can you talk about the Ukrainian AV scene?

There are several collectives and art groups. If I mention some names it won’t tell you anything, search for Ukrainian Media artists or Ukraine sound art.

What are your current projects?

At the moment, I’m focused on our old collaborative project with Aiuto.(v4w.enko & Aiuto). It is an interesting sonic combination as Anna uses very raw analogue modular frequencies and makes specific harmonics out of that. It is the opposite of the MaxMSP sound, but it works really well together at the same time. It forms a wide sound sculpture with the highest level of creative implementation in real time. There’s also my current installation “in[ter]sect” driven by mindwaves. It is a great research endeavour for my experience in animation of brainwaves in sound and visual re-parametrization processes. One of my favourite works, “Scalar v.202, is also presented frequently. The urban-mapping version of this work is going to be displayed at Kyiv Lights Festival this May.

Recently I mostly find myself creating installations or special immersive virtual spaces. And, of course, the sound is the most important media component of my creations.

Foto by Anna Vaschenko @ v4w.enko “in[ter]sect”