Kinetic Works from the Tiny to the Monumental

  • October 24, 2013
  • By Lori Emerson     
While certain tendencies for behavior are coded in the individual nodes, there is no central “brain” controlling the show.


 

University of Colorado composer and new media artist Michael Theodore is currently collaborating with roboticist Nikolaus Correll (and several other artists and scientists) on a series of kinetic works, ranging in scale from the tiny to the monumental. The underlying technology for these collaborative works is driven by Correll’s interest in large-scale distributed intelligent systems. In each of the pieces, a series of custom-designed circuit boards are networked together as a community of nodes. While certain tendencies for behavior are coded in the individual nodes, there is no central “brain” controlling the show. Rather, order and disorder emerge through the constant message passing between the nodes. Additionally, a network of sensors informs the piece of human presence, which in turn further influences the behavior of the system. Two recent examples are: “endo/exo” and “Swarm Wall.”