Emergence

This generative audio visual piece is based on the concept of emergence, a mathematical term used to describe the creation of complex behaviour from simple rules whereby randomness results in complex and attractive orderly structures. Emergence is often used to describe natural processes such as the behaviour of insects, weather patterns, the formation of cliffs and mountains and other complex phenomena.

Using the emergence principle a custom written piece of software was developed that generates complex, mesmerizing visual and audio patterns. Starting from a plain red image it quickly evolves into a complex array of lines and shapes. These patterns are created by using a set of simple rules which are reapplied to the image and sound numerous times per second. During each of these iterations every pixel in the image is analysized and compared with its neighbours and the numerical value representing its colour is changed by applying basic mathematical computing functions such bit shifting, addition and subtraction. This would usually be expected to produce random, chaotic results with minimal aesthetic value. But instead visually appealing patterns that continually evolve and grow are produced with the program never reproducing the same image twice.

Furthermore sound is generated from the visual data by taking the bit values representing the images pixels and loading them into an audio buffer to create a waveform that is played through the speakers resulting in a droning, squealing, beeping soundscape. Created using Processing this audio generation is done using the Minim library and its AudioSignal class, with the images pixel manipulations done using the pixels[] array

This piece has been screened at the following events:
2013 Call and Response, London, United Kingdom
2012 ScreenSound Visual/Music Series, Melbourne, Australia
2012 Digital Graffiti, Florida, United States
2012 WPA Experimental Media Video Program, Washington DC, United States
2012 Panorama Cyneart Dresden, Germany
2012 Microscope Gallery, New York, United States