images + videos

description

MATERIAL & MEDIA: custom-code, cellular automata, 8K video environment, 5.1 sound

YEAR: 2019

 

Always Dead and Alive is a hypnotizing audiovisual piece created from specific Cellular Automata rules. The project investigates modes of perception through creating video scenarios between geometric abstraction and minimalism that challenge our awareness of time and space.

Developed during the 'Immersive Minimalism'-residency at the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre funded by STARTS EU.

concept text

„Let’s call a feature of experience ‚dark‘ if it confers no explicit or implicit understanding of its nature on the experiencer… Dark phenomenology is thus intuition-transcendent.“[1]

Always Dead and Alive is a UHD video environment based on a custom Cellular Automata-system. The
project investigates modes of perception through creating video scenarios between geometric
abstraction and minimalism that challenge our awareness of time and space. By implementing CA
rules the artist combined her research on the evolution of patterns in nature and self-organisation of
forms with generative video. Surprisingly complex behaviours appear when all 33 Mio. pixels on
screen become alive as individual interacting agents within a set network.

Cellular Automata are a set of logical rules to model discrete dynamic systems. They consist of a
regular grid of cells whereas the development of an individual cell in time depends on the states of its
surrounding neighbourhood cells. Thus CA can produce extremely complex patterns based on
iterations of simple preconditions.

What fascinates the artist about CA is its simultaneity. As in nature, the world is happening in many different places at once, and CA are offering a very aesthetic experience of that. They are a bit like a primordial form of neural networks. Scientist Rudy Rucker also described CA as the bottom up approach to creating artificial life as opposed to the top/down approach coming from artificial intelligence. CA can be seen as the ‘matter’ on which AI could evolve: “If AI is the surfer, CA is the sea”. The title “Always Dead and Alive” refers to the basic rule of CA whereas one pixel can be either dead (0) or alive (1).


[1] Steven Shaviro: Discognition, London, UK: Repeater 2015, S. 214

This video cannot be viewed online (Vimeo, Youtube) due to quality/codec issues. Please contact me by email for a preview!

credits

Artist: Theresa Schubert

Unity development: Jörg Reisig www.joerg-reisig.com

Sound composition: Jan Skorupa

Tech Support: PSNC, Spin Digital

STARTS is an initiative of the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

S+T+ARTS - Innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the ARTS: www.starts.eu

exhibitions + screenings

Ars Electronica Festival 2019 (Deep Space and STARTS area)