flowspace 2


We contributed a piece to the Exhibition Milieux Sonores by Marcus Maeder, which was shown in Zurich at the Walcheturm Artspace in January 2009 and in San Francisco at the Grey Area Foundation for the Arts in September 2010.

The architectural structure of “Flowspace” is realised in the shape of a Dodecahedron, sufficiently large for a small group of people. The shape of this space forms a distinct contrast to the mostly orthogonal architecture of the exhibition space.

In this second incarnation we added a touch surface to one of the lower pentagonal panes of the space, this is a diffuse illuminated IR touch surface with a fabric in front of the acrylic pane.

Apart from all the technical work with the touch table and the sound system I contributed one audio-visual interactive piece called Impacts. The Flowspace installation contains three pieces by the three authors, me, Daniel Bisig and Martin Neukom. It’s based around a specific idea:

"The installation creates an interactive, immersive, and generative environment for audiovisual compositions that are controlled via simulations of swarm behaviour." (ICMC 2011 Paper)

My piece consists of three layers: the swarm simulation with it’s own visualisation on the touch surface, the main visualisation that is projected overhead and the sound engine that outputs spatialised audio to the 20 speakers in the dodecahedron. The swarm simulation is made with the ISO-libraries by D.Bisig. The visualisation, which also contains the entire logic for the piece, was coded in openFrameworks. The sound-engine runs in MaxMSP using my ambisonic tools from ICST.

"There are three types of entities present in the “Impacts” model: the first type of agent is the attractor. Its behaviour is fully dependent on the visitor’s action since it can’t move by itself but is displaced by the visitor’s touch. The agents of the secondary swarm influence their own kind and react to the attraction forces of the first swarm. They serve as attractors to the agents within the third swarm. The behaviours of the agents within the second and third swarms are parameterized in such a manner as to create very dynamic motion patterns. The music consists of a background layer of Ambisonic ambience recorded with a Soundfield microphone in the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. The individual collisions between agents in the swarm simulation trigger piano samples on impact and a granular echo of the same pitch when an escape point is reached." (ICMC 2011 Paper)