The two investigate to what extent information can develop in a network of computers linked with each other and how it is possible for an audience to interact with it. The installation on view consists of three interconnected machines, each running a simple ecosystem model in which small strings of data are produced, processed and sent back and forth from computer to computer.
Aymeric Mansoux and Marloes de Valk
Part of the 'Metabiosis' project, Marloes De Valk (NL) and Aymeric Mansoux (FR) investigate to what extent information can develop in a network of computers linked with each other and how it is possible for an audience to interact with it.
The pond installation consists of three interconnected machines. Each machine runs a simple ecosystem model in which small strings of data are produced, processed and sent back and forth from computer to computer.
In reality the string contains a set of items that only make sense in the virtual machine/pond that interprets all this information. Because the model includes a two dimensional environment, visualized on screens, it is possible to follow the whole process as it is being computed on each machine.
Even though the number crunching methods are abstract, with the aid of the visual output, one string of information can be tracked and referred to as a visible and animated 'creature'.
When the machines are turned on, these 'creatures' remain in the computer memory and can jump to other computers/ecosystems.
They can reproduce (copy of information), evolve (update of information), and they can die (non recoverable loss of information). These self organized ecosystems produce patterns emerging from the initial rules set in the ecosystem model. At the same time, on a projection, the whole process and data exchange is visualised, bringing an even higher level metaphor and different point of view on how the information is flowing through the three machines.
It is possible for the audience to interact with each pond via a touchscreen, directly influencing and breaking the self organizing process. The input has immediate effect on the overall system and provides a way to bend or control the information flow.
pond is an experiment and a game for people who are curious about the possibilities of standalone processes, generative systems and artificial life.
During the residency, Mansoux and de Valk will investigate how the fragile transition regime between periodic and chaotic phases of a self organizing system can lead to complex behaviours with which an audience can interact with. The two visualisation models of the processed information raise the issue of the matryoshka effect through the relationship between interpretation and processed data.
pond is an artistic metaphor for computer metaphors.
Aymeric Mansoux is an artist and co-founder of GOTO10, an organization dedicated to create, produce, and support FLOSS+Art. He has taken part in many artistic experiments based on the internet and the emergence of networks, and considers any form of data to be a new clay that can be used to develop autonomous artistic processes. Currently part of the Digital Research Unit of the University of Huddersfield, his recent projects include the mysterious packets toolkit (with Tom Schouten and Marloes de Valk), the 0xA band (with Chun Lee), the digital artlife Metabiosis project (with Marloes de Valk), the pure:dyne GNU/Linux live distribution for media artists (with Chun Lee and Antonios Galanopoulos) and ongoing theoretical research into tools and digital autonomous processes. He is also part of the production and curatorial team of make art, an international FLOSS+Art festival in France.
Marloes de Valk is an audiovisual artist, part of digital art collective GOTO10. She was born in Holland, 1976, and is currently based in the UK. She studied Sound and Image at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, specializing in abstract compositional computer games, HCI and crashing computers. Her work consists of audiovisual performances and installations, investigating machine theater and narratives of digital processes. She is part of the packets project, developing and documenting new tools for artistic creation, and is currently collaborating with French artist Aymeric Mansoux on Metabiosis, a project investigating the ups and downs of data packets living in a world of connected ecosystems. Marloes is part of the Digital Research Unit at the University of Huddersfield.
Opening and presentation: June 15th, 2007 4pm
Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst
Keizersgracht 264 - Amsterdam