Saturday, January 27, 2007


bugs, biomes and real snails

new zealand garden snails

Eventually this system will be built into an installation version in 2007/08. Where an individual can visit the 'Real Snail Mail' website and email a message which travels at the speed of light to our server where it is entered into a queue. Here it waits until a snail wonders in range of a hot spot. The hot spot is our dispatch centre in the form of a RFID reader. This reader identifies the snail from the RFID chip attached to its shell and checks to see if it has not already been assigned a message to carry. If the snail is available it is assigned the message at the top of the list. It then slips away into the technological wasteland. Located at the other end of the pond (in the case of aquatic snails) is the drop off point. When, or if, the snail ever makes it here, it is identified by another reader, which then forwards the relevant message to the recipients email address; once again travelling at the speed of light.

Collaborating as boredomresearch, Southampton based Vicky Isley and Paul Smith have gained an international reputation for interrogating the creative role of computing. Their enthusiasm for scientific modeling techniques and fascination with natural systems inspires them to produce beautifully crafted software art that presents an exciting alternative to our technologically fraught lives.

biomes exhibited spread out over the floor at Aspex Gallery (April-June 2005)

The biomes are a series of six screen based computational art works that use generative processes in the creation of a dynamic world.

biomes exhibited in the New Forest Pavilion parallel with the 2005 Venice Biennale

A biome's small circular window looks in on a vast sealed universe in which you see a number of intricately patterned bodies going about their business. Observing at length, you will see an almost unlimited diversity of form, colour and pattern, as these creature-like machines enter and leave the viewable area.

a detail from a biome screen

"The biome works were developed after extensive research into computational models used in the study of artificial life. Our desire is to implement these techniques in a way that explores properties present in natural systems. We were interested in the diversity of form and pattern that appears in natural systems and how a similar diversity can be produced using simple rules."

The biome machines generate their own markations using a pattern generator based on simple rules. Each biome is running the same software but as the machines are generative each system is evolving differently.

The work exists as an object that can either wall hang or be free-standing. Each system is completely self contained including its own custom built computer and screen. The screen is visible through a circular lens that has a foreshortening effect, bringing the image surface level with the surrounding frame to subtlety but profoundly change the viewing experience. In this form the work is experienced intimately where only a few people can view a biome at one time.

detail of ornamental bug garden 001

Peering through the square window of ornamental bug garden 001(obg001) viewers see a population of spring objects attempt to space themselves evenly across the floor. Many are forced onto wires, the arrangement of which encourages their assent until they are either ejected by a falling weight or reach the top where their only option is to jump. On their decent they collide with flowers and bubbles before ending back on the floor, causing all their comrades to shuffle around From this point the cycle begins again.

detail of ornamental bug garden

Behind a glass slab hanging on the wall, an ecological system works as a living kinetic painting. Below branches, generated with Lindenmayer algorithms, is a delicate ecosystem where tiny shapes jump around and onto each other, spores explode, and bubbles float like pollen.

"Even if you understand nothing about the Ornamental Bug Garden piece (and I'm not sure I understand the work at 100%), its sheer beauty is such that you'd want to take the installation and install it in your bedroom to gaze at it during hours."
Régine Debatty

ornamental bug garden 001

Although OBG001 uses modelling techniques similar to those used by scientists, instead of aiming to understand something existing, we hope to build something new of intrigue and beauty. OBG001 is a biosphere; a close system like the earth taking only energy as its input other than that nothing enters or leaves

via > via

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...