Sensory sculpture HAYA

 Photo by Wyatt Kane

Photo by Wyatt Kane

It happened unexpectedly. Hembidge Centre of Art and Science prepared their annual auction. The executive director Jamie Badoud asked Zapah_lab to develop an olfactory experience for the auction night. We had a little less than one month to come up with a multi-sensory installation. Our theme was the celebration of the nature of the art residence, which gives time and space for artists, writers, composers and scientists from all over the world. We invited the artist Eddie Farr to be our collaborator for this installation and develop technical solutions (sensors, mounts) and a conceptual soundscape. 

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Above in these photos you can see how the process went. Floating sculpture was called Haya as the Arabic word "Life". It consists of silicone petals, the shape of which was cast from the female body, speakers with a self-made MP3 player equipped with tactile sensors and "squeeze me" mechanism with the abstract smell of the Adoxal molecule. The smell of the sea breeze, with sharp cold notes and green algae, celebrated the smell of our Blue Planet. Especially for those who will be born in outer space and will not have memories of this planet. 
The main scent was also supported by five additional five synthetic abstract molecules which we proposed to consider as ideal representatives of the scents of the ocean, jungle and tropical plants of the future.

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Georgia Tech smellwalk and fragrance

Smellwalk along the central part of the Georgia Tech campus, Atlanta. The meeting consisted of 1. Intro about sense of smell, 2. Smellwalk, 3. Meeting with the artist Iman Person. The route was built at the most variegated points of the central part of the campus, connecting into a popular alley. The route was checked in advance, the aromatic background was studied and 5 scent formulas were compiled corresponding to each location. In the final walk participants found a common scents of Georgia Tech campus. 

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The group received notebooks for records and with a location map. First, the group members sniffed the real location and made notes about the nature of the smells. Then they sniffed the sticker, which was imbued with a composition built on the motives of this place. The description of the each locationcontained a list of the actual components in the formula. 

With Iman Person we spoke about the synthetic landscape in her practices. 

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Osmo experimental improvisation 'Dematerialization of DOME' at Mammal Gallery

"The walls begin to melt"...

Experimental improvisation was organized in collaboration with Mammal Gallery, Atlanta, GA. The event was dedicated to the demolition of the DOME. Progress on the construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium has led officials to set a date for demolishing the Georgia Dome next door - 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 20. The night event at the Mammal Gallery consisted of 10 hours of full sensory experience for those who will spend the night in the gallery and watch demolition in the next morning. Guests were invited to the gallery and bringing pillows and blankets with them. 

Mood mapping: We developed an exclusive scent consisting of four parts, arranged diffusers in space in the experimental collaboration with other artists:

SIGHT : Video Dome by Eddie Farr
SOUND : William Kennedy’s Drone Orchestra
TOUCH : Bianca Acousta
TASTE : Isabella Corwell and Brian Egan

Four different formulas were built for the socialization of the 'ephemeral' osmo experience, which clearly demonstrates dematerialized art : the smells of the city through cement, tap water, city trees, rust, car exhausts and fresh smell of lawn.

Event: DOME : a tribute to the GA Dome through sensory excess, Mammal Gallery. 

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Smell the Sound

Wearable accessory for nose for olfactory stimulation by ZAPAH_lab. The demo was conducted on Maker Faire Atlanta, October 2017. This is Flagellum, osmo stimulant which works in tandem with ambient soundscape from Eddie Farr. Eddie also helped ZAPAH_lab to 3D print some details - a connector and a "petal", for this very first prototype.

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We made a scent composition based on raw seawater and seaweed (Fucus Vesiculosus), notes of musk and amber and cold green notes. The duration of the session was 2.5 minutes, headphones were used with sound isolation from sounds from the environment. It is challenging to write such a short sound piece that attempts to capture such a complex experience as smell. This piece uses space and water as a main theme, a reoccurring idea in most of an artist Eddie Farr's work. The initial shimmers in the music are used to express intrigue at the new smell that is being experience. The low hum is the continued presence of the smell while the melody represents your perception of the smell changing over time. While all of this happens quickly in reality, the music attempts to slow these sensations down to give you time to think and process the experience. 

The script of musical immersion stopped the moment in a literal sense. When we were discussing a sketch for music and smell, we imagined how we look at the blue planet through the spacecraft's porthole. This scent should capture the smell of the spaceship in a vacuum and weightlessness, of technical materials and resemble the smell of the ocean and green islands, as if we could no longer visit the planet.

Click on photos from right or left. 

As Eddie told about his smell experience, it is often a very short experience, constantly changing, which is difficult to stop and focus on it for more deep exploration. And with the help of music, he tried to slow down and stretch the experience of perception; the melody is consistently changing; but at the same time remains the same as in the case of smells, the molecules of which we perceive all at the same moment and yet they change over time again. 

Our demo continued within the framework of the Maker Faire Atlanta for 8 hours. All this time we had visitors non-stop and heard from each of their impressions, emotions from personal experience and memories. We received a tremendous response from a wide range of audiences. And unexpectedly for ourselves we organized a meditative healing station, which makes people much happier.

Smellhacker Manifesto. Virtual Smells

In the collaboration with the artists Miron and Taya Kabaeva (Kyiv, Ukraine), who work in virtual reality, uses soft such as TiltBrush and Gravity Sketch. The live broadcasts of digital drawing creation is themed around our museum's and unreleased scents. The artists were (deliberately) not informed about the components in the formulas and the concept behind them to avoid prejudice and direct associations. On average, the artists worked from 45 minutes to 2 hours on each structure and created several videos. the collaborative series of the live broadcasts will continue.

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#SMELLHACKER Manifesto contained our texts for entice to explore our inner lives and identities through olfaction and taste cognition. Also Manifesto includes fragments from Сhristopher Brosius (I Hate Perfume), FOLIE À PLUSIEURS manifests and lyrics by OutKast - 'So Fresh, So Clean', which was recorded in Atlanta.

The numbered limited edition of the poster / manifesto was presented at the Atlanta Zine Fest 2017. 

September, 2017

Smell Station at The Bakery Atlanta

Experimental Smell Station it is a public performance about improvised laboratory at the opening of The Bakery Atlanta, new place for artist's studios. We presented scents like as a physical medium for creativity, even if it's invisible.

We explored the smells of the location and distilled smells from plants and objects near The Bakery building. We mixed the ingredients, then applied them to fabric stickers and the guests of the musical concert was applied them to the skin. Stickers slow activated by body temperature and serve custom smell just for those who wear them, without affecting those who around.  

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The Bakery Atlanta, October, 2017

Argha Noah Supper Club

Argha Noah is an artist-run civic engagement platform that transforms unused urban spaces into pop up community art spaces. Today contemporary artists are obsessed with cross-modal perception at the moment – the idea that you perceive with all of your senses and the organizers of pop-up space asked us to make a smell for their secret dinner and we offered to pick up smells based on their scent landscape and also pick up the same smells for food (isolates for desserts and drinks). 

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Conceptually, our goal was to connect a few scent points - the real scentscape of the location, the biblical myth about the blooming genesis from the spilling Nile (Argha Noah means Wet Moon) and the chef's menu, based on the Eastern Mediterranean cuisine (in particular Israeli and Arabic). In the selection of edible fragrant isolates, we worked in collaboration with Chef Julia Kesler from Stop Think Chew.

To fill the space we used several diffusers. We also made scented candles for the table to symbolize hospitality, fire, the tribe gathered around. Isolates were used right before serving. 

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Specially for this event we developed frames that helped delicately demo the scents of other art locations (the most famous museums in Atlanta) to the guests.

Argha Noah, Atlanta, September, 2017

Air installation "Smells like EV-REE-THING"

An interactive exhibit showcasing the trio scents of Museums collection (The High Museum of Art, Museum of Design Atlanta, and Atlanta Contemporary) and conceptual new one for Hi-Lo Press in Atlanta, which invited us to partake in the EV-REE-THING exhibit.

 Photo by Wyatt Kane

Photo by Wyatt Kane

The word EV-REE-THING was given to us around which we developed a custom scent based on three museums / visual art directions (modern, contemporary and design). We combined the three formulas of the scents of different museums into one abstract scent. With this new formula, we celebrated the architecture of these places, as well as the achievements of architects.

We chose gray scale for emphasizing architecture of The High Museum of Art, Museum of Design Atlanta, and Atlanta Contemporary in mobile sculpture of the four "petals" (scent pads) hidden inside for viewers to get a scent of each museum. Bottles of perfumes were packaged in a vacuum sealed metallic bag, which post-vacuum texture inspired by the style of urban materials.

 Photo by Wyatt Kane

Photo by Wyatt Kane

The identity for packaging and exhibition we developed using objects from our laboratory. Preparation of the concept and aesthetics was implemented with the support and collaboration of (Bureau) Christopher Knowles.

Hi-Lo Press, Atlanta, July 2017

The smellscape route of Eiko Otake

"The body is a landscape, and landscape is a body." 


We detected / noted scents on the passed route of Eiko Otake, in her two-day workshop in Atlanta, which took place on Peachtree Street. "Body in Places" is the omnibus title of Eiko's first solo project, and first foray into exploring her unique and riveting theater of movement out of stillness, shape, light and sound, in non-traditional spaces. Eiko's body was as part of the landscape (including olfactory - smellscape) which dictated the algorithm for the composition of the formula. Workshop and Eiko's "walks" is based on breathing and contact with space. And it was important for us to participate in its workshop as well, in order to adopt techniques (meditative in a sense) of breathing for active sniffing. 

 Photo by Wyatt Kane, style and set design by Iman Person.

Photo by Wyatt Kane, style and set design by Iman Person.

Eiko's works in public and unexpected spaces call for a conscious attitude to the resources of the planet, loneliness, ocean, radiation, etc. For us it was important that we experienced this walk with her on the famous street of Atlanta, where there are two museums, about which we made scents earlier (MODA and High). Thanks to her improvisation with the plants and flowers, we got a petal from the tulip, which she chewed (falling on a flower bed next of the business center building). This prompted us to dive into the section of floriography (language of flowers) is a means of cryptological communication through the use or arrangement of flowers. And we were especially interested in Hanakotoba (花言葉), Japanese form of the language of flowers, where plants were given codes and passwords. Two days in a row, Eiko "ate" the red tulips, which means Fame/Charity/Trust (Chūrippu, チューリップ). 

The scent EIKO will be presented in early spring of 2018 in next collection Dancers (working title, the line explores the movement of the body and breathing as contact with the place). The next series includes collaborations with contemporary ballet and performance artists.

Eiko's residency in Atlanta at Tanz Farm is made possible in part with support from the Japan Foundation, New York and its Performing Arts JAPAN program. 

Atlanta, 2017

Sensitive upgrade / Museum scent collection

The side-specific research about smells of art institutions was implemented in March 2017 in Atlanta. 

 Blueprints of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta

Blueprints of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta

As emigrants we started with (super) re-consciousness who we are, where we are, why and where we will go further. To know how we accept or discriminate places, objects, emotions, even people, we began with the idea how we perceive with all of our senses. We have 5 ways to communicate with reality and of all the senses, smell is the least understood. We found that our unconsciousness about olfactory abilities is as infinite as our loss in a new stage of life or places. 

Here we started analyzing smells from the point of view of random finds in art spaces (which we often visited), and in our laboratory (mimicry and smellscape deconstruction). We were obsessed with the perception / discrimination of such information as smells, we are faced with "prejudices" that can be endless in the fixation of moments - health, weather, genetics, habits, gender, culture, race, age, weight, nationality... In fact, information from the environment (molecules) passes the "prejudice" filter and gets into virtual reality (our memory and emotions). And further in our personal olfactory universe we are dealing with a "remix" that was created regardless of "our choice" (this is a big question, what does "OUR" and "choice" mean in this case a large number of restrictions and "preferences"). 

For this research we supplemented the theoretical framework from scientific articles (chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology, marketing) and applied the smellscape walks method to collect actual data about the surroundings. This entailed the question of analyzing the emotional landscape in the same way. Thus, we analyze what we catch and feel in the three famous art institutions, approaching them and being inside them. 


Installation of results of smellscape mapping by ZAPAH_lab took place at the Conference Critical Juncture: The Work of Art (Emory Conference Center Hotel) in March 2017. In Sensitive Upgrade we shared the results of smellscape experiments from three art institutions in the city of Atlanta: The Atlanta Contemporary, the Museum of Design and the High Museum of Art. Visitors were introduced to smells, inspiration and formulas. 

Work: Three scents in perfume format / Manifesto about radical attention to the sense of smell as an important part of the perception of reality and as an art meduim.

Emory University, Atlanta, 2017