The artwork is based on diary data of one of the most significant Russian writers - Leo Tolstoy. It analyzes volumes of diaries for the last decade of his life from 1901 when he was excommunicated from the Orthodox church to 1910, the year of the writer's death.
The project investigates the notion of egoism and what it meant to be an egoist. Tolstoy reckoned egoism as one of the biggest human sins. At the same time, he was very influential and egoistic in his decisions. This opposition between his values and deeds outlines an amplified process of human self-determination and self-reflection within the borders of beliefs, social fillings, and self-orientation.
The artwork transforms a self-portrait of the writer based on the diary data into the immersive environment of the "inner Tolstoy".
The result is a rear 11-minute video projection with sound in the darkroom. Each minute represents one year of Tolstoy's life from 1901 to 1910.
During this decade, the frequency of pronouns "I" and "We," as well as occurrences of the word "God," were converted into RGB channel values for the video segment. The data were assigned colors based on Russian color associations. The red channel represents Tolstoy's ego and corresponds to the frequency of the pronoun "I." The green channel signifies his social affiliation and is determined by the frequency of the pronoun "We." Lastly, the blue channel indicates Tolstoy's religiousness and is determined by the number of mentions of God in his texts.
For the entire decade, the audio segment was composed of a harmonious blend of ten voices arranged as a sine wave "choir" playing simultaneously. Among them, one voice is slightly amplified to serve as the lead voice for the current year. The frequency of each oscillator is determined by the number of mentions of the pronoun "I" in each respective year. Each year is represented by a one-minute duration.
The video concludes with a minute of complete darkness and silence.