Interview With Yanislav Malahov on The Drone Graffiti Project

Aeternity Founder Yanislav Malahov

Yanislav Malahov
Aeternity’s Founder

We are launching an Expert Interview Series here on MyDearDrone.com. We wish to interview pilots and ‘shakers and movers’ in the drone world. Today we talk with Yanislav Malahov, Aeternity’s Founder.

We had the privilege to have a word with Mr. Yanislav to interview him on The Drone Graffiti Project. Check the below interview to find what he got to say.

Have you worked on multiple graffiti spraying drones at once? How do you deal with it?

We developed the initial prototype using a classic drone. In this second iteration, we made substantial changes in the system to improve system capabilities. Further improvements are expected to achieve higher altitude, better painting quality, and even many color graffiti.

A Drone Spray Painting Edwards Design on the Wall in Mexico City

What’s your proudest project achievement to date? Is it the world’s first live urban art installation?

Live urban installation is among the most exciting projects we worked on. We are very proud to push the boundaries of what you can do with drones.

What strategies do you use for dealing with event stress?

Be cool and focus on problem-solving.

Which hardware and software platforms do you prefer for drones and why?

We prefer to use open source software; in fact, most of the software developed by our research group is available in open source. The hardware of the drone graffiti was built in house.

Asian Developer Looking Screen to Develop Pattern for Drone Graffiti

Tell us about Voliro, who have developed your drone?

They are Voliro (www.voliro.ch), a Swiss start-up developing advanced aerial robots that can execute contact-based work at elevation. Voliro drones are “Hand in the Sky.”

Their focus is contact-based work at altitudes such as in-depth inspection, spray painting, coating, and cleaning. The team comes from the Autonomous Systems Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

What are your challenges with implementing drones as the tool for graffiti artists?

The biggest challenge remains localization. When flying near structures, GPS is not available, and accurate localization becomes a challenge.

What criteria do you use for reproducing Tom Edward's farting unicorn image?

We used it because it was a symbol of digital rights, which are essential to us.

Tom Edwards Drawing of a Unicorn Farting into an Electric Car

Tell us about the three artists selected for the Drone Graffiti project?

TOM EDWARDS (American). Elon Musk, In 2017 posted a Tom Edward’s artwork direct copy on Twitter – an electric car line drawing being gassed from a farting unicorn. This artwork had been uploaded on the Tesla automobiles screens, but Tesla, Inc had not obtained Tom’s permission for using the graphic.

One year after, Tom sent a mail to Tesla which was disregarded, so Tom went to the media. Seattle musician, Tom’s daughter Lisa Prank, took the issue straight to Elon Musk through Twitter thus a heated wits battle happened.

A bunch of tweets after, news sources around the globe were covering up this news and Tom definitely had gotten the car company’s interest. Ultimately, Tom reached a negotiation with Tesla Motors without the need for court.

Farting unicorn of Edward is today a high-profile image embodying tech and art and a sign for artists privileges in the age of digital.

SMITHE (Mexican) For Smithe, art is a form of communication – a way of abstracting feelings. His work differs from acid themes to cheerful and colorful subjects rendered via a rather gory tone. Defragmentation recurrent in his art is a symbol used to show elements of the power within his characters which are depicted as surreal machines.

MR. KONE (Mexican) Mr. Kone is a well-known Mexican designer, art director and illustration artist with more than 15 years of experience. He has done large murals, illustrated numerous magazines and children’s books – work that led to him being selected to create designs for international brands such as Nike, MTV, Coca-Cola, Sony-BMG, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Adidas, and Mini Cooper, among others. In 2011, Mr. Kone received the Cannes Media Lion Gold Award.

How did you find your passion for Urban Street Art?

Street art is a fascinating medium. Its creators put a significant amount of effort into turning ordinary walls or facades into masterpieces that will likely exist only a short while before they’re painted over or otherwise removed.

As a tech enthusiast, we are passionate about the use of emerging technologies to improve everything in an individual’s day-to-day life, streamline industrial processes and generally contribute to the arts, culture, and entertainment. The combination of art, drone and blockchain technologies to us, is an exciting endeavor that could significantly enrich the world of street art.
Artist Mr Kone Graffiti Painted on the Wall

What do you see in The Drone Graffiti Project?

We see a number of things in the Drone Graffiti. We’re bringing together technologists and artists to launch a unique creative medium, rooted in ideals of freedom of expression and censorship-resistance.

We’re looking to enable anyone, anywhere to participate in the creation and appreciation of street art – traditionally, art in a public location could only be enjoyed by those in its immediate proximity and often just for a short time.

Meanwhile, the art itself could only be made by those with the physical prowess, skills and risk appetite to scale walls and tag them.

Two Men from The Drone Graffiti Project Team Looking at a Spray Drone in Action

What do you see in The Drone Graffiti Project?

We see a number of things in the Drone Graffiti. We’re bringing together technologists and artists to launch a unique creative medium, rooted in ideals of freedom of expression and censorship-resistance. We’re looking to enable anyone, anywhere to participate in the creation and appreciation of street art – traditionally, art in a public location could only be enjoyed by those in its immediate proximity and often just for a short time. Meanwhile, the art itself could only be made by those with the physical prowess, skills and risk appetite to scale walls and tag them.”

We’re turning this paradigm on its head. With open-source software and drone technology, we want to make it possible for anyone to produce art from the comfort of their houses through blockchain-based apps – app for Aeternity blockchain – where artwork can get uploaded, and execution is left to the drones. Further, the app leverage the blockchain immutability to permanently inscribe the art so that it’s forever accessible via a distributed ledger.

We’re incorporating some innovative mechanisms for bidding on drawings with blockchain-native tokens, where the bidder participates in a public auction to buy ‘drone time.’ One thing we’ve been very conscious of has been making the process very user-friendly through the app so that even the less technically-inclined are easily able to participate.

Where do you see your inaugural Drone Graffiti event five years from now?

With the inaugural event, we want to make history with the perfect match of blockchain and art: already the technology has been recognized as a means to track the movement of high-value assets or as a platform to create non-fungible tokens to these ends.

We see it as the glue to tie together an ecosystem of artists and the tools they need.

It is what we hope to demonstrate with the inaugural event. Five years from now, it will be looked back on as a landmark achievement marking the turning point where street art, regardless of its location, could be enjoyed by anyone around the globe for generations to come.

What sets your Drone Graffiti different from other projects?

Put simply; there’s no one combining these various ideas. Street art has remained largely the same tools over the years, but blockchain and advances in drone capabilities are still at the bleeding edge of the tech sector.

There are a handful of projects already using drones to spray-paint, but none created a decentralized ecosystem that aims to make temporary art immutable.

What trends around drones linked to the blockchain surprise you most?

We have been the first and are the only ones linking drones to the blockchain. By this, we want to give artists another tool to create art, while at the same time conserving it for future generations, which is at risk for usual graffiti art.

Our next steps are to open this instrument up to the community and allow everyone to participate and get their graffiti-art immortalized on the blockchain and painted by a drone.

How do you keep up to date with street art? What are you watching out for at the moment?

There is a lot of great details out there; our team comes from the art world and get inspiration from magazines, social media, and the broader industry.

We look out for opinions of artists and creatives, and there was immediate interest from the artists we approached when we joined forces to work on Drone Graffiti.

Right now, we are interested in young female street artists like Dina Saadi, Maya Hayuk, Sara Erental, the iconic Swoon and we would love to involve female artists in our next showcase.

What criteria do you feel is most important when deciding to use drones for this project?

Drones were a no-brainer. They’re incredibly versatile tools for carrying small payloads and can take the human element out of tasks that may otherwise be time-consuming or dangerous.

We’re targeting global disruption, and as such want users around the world to be able to run software that directly controls the mechanisms, they’re using. Our use of drones means that aspiring graffiti artists can paint in places that even the most agile of urban explorers can’t reach.

It is important to note that the art is being created on the blockchain first, and thus a copy then is being produced on the wall, and it’s exciting that suddenly, people all around the world could work together on one single art piece.

This real-life copy can only be produced by something like a drone and not a human, as otherwise, it would not be a copy/print. Also, it gives us the possibility to reach otherwise unreachable places, which is crucial in urban art.

Spraying Drone and Laptop with Blockchain Software on Screen Display on the Wooden Table

Check out Drone Graffiti on the web!

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Yanislav Malahov Aeternity Interview

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