Immersive Minimalism - in process

May 20, 2019

A few months into my residency at the Poznan Supercomputing and Network Centre (PSNC) I am very happy to actually see the screen come alive. After an initial phase of conceptualisation and research, I decided to work with a specific set of algorithms for the generative part of "Immersive Minimalism". Using 'Cellular Automata' I found a way of creating large-scale video content combining it with my interest in investigating the formation of patterns in nature as well as the evoluation or self-organisation of forms.

In order to implement the defined algorithms, I invited Jörg Reisig, a indie games developer, to the project.

The first rule I chose is based on the so-called Voter Modell. As the election for the European Parliament is just a 10 days ahead, I want to elaborate on the mechanism behind this rule. According to mathematician Stephen Wolfram, the voter model shows, "how the views of neighbors can influence a neighborhood. On a given day, several voters will abandon their current views and assume the position of one of their four neighbors. When run, strong groupings appear almost immediately, with conflict at the borders." Put quite simply it means, the modell can simulate how people influce the opinion of individuals in their neighbourhood. Although the main reason I chose this rule is the capacity for abstract color formations and noise, I do find the hidden political message in the seemingly chaotic surface extremely interesting. Surprisingly complex behaviours appear at the borders of the different clusters.

​​The main challenge we are currently facing is to compute the massive amount of data we are dealing with. Each pixel on our screen is 1 cell in the cellular automata. That makes over 33 Mio pixels that have to be calculated at every frame. The team at PSNC had (obviously) some helpful advice in regard to handly computer processing.

Furthermore, one of the affiliated members at PSNC, who is a composer agreed to create a composition for the video. This will be great to deepen the level of immersion.

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VERTIGO is funded under the H2020 European STARTS initiative, innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the ARTS. STARTS promotes the arts as catalysts for efficient conversion of science and technology knowledge into products, services, and processes.