Everything is Made of Atoms is an interactive new media installation that explores the entangled and ever-changing relationship between the body and technology. It draws on previous works created by artists such as Simon Penny's Traces (1999). The piece draws parallels between participants and their digitally-mediated images, expressing both as a whole and at the same time as a flow of constituent parts, the lifetimes of which, as philosopher Karen Barad (2003) argues, is not an attribute but the ongoing reconfigurings of the world.
Everything is Made of Atoms has two major software components: methods to access the stream of image, depth, and skeleton data from the Microsoft Kinect sensor, and routines to perform a high-performance computation of three-dimensional vortex dynamics. These methods are connected by an extensible framework of the artists own design.
Swarm is an interactive, real-time artwork that puts the viewer in an ever-changing autumn forest full of falling leaves. Normally, leaves will simply wobble slightly as they fall and cover the ground. When a viewer comes close to the screen, or passes by quickly, a whirlwind will pick up and swirl the leaves in complex, never-repeated patterns. The dense texture of motion and shape can be calming or torrential. In addition to the constantly-changing wind and turbulence, the piece exhibits a day/night cycle, subtle longer-term changes in the leaf colors, and other details.
The piece is physically composed of a flatscreen monitor for display, and a small desktop computer to run the simulation. To compute the motions of the thousands of leaves, a creative and lesser-known fluid dynamics algorithm is applied to the particles. Both the rendering and this special computation are performed on the GPU. The title, "Swarm," refers to the fact that the essential algorithm used for the wind flow is a relative of the swarming algorithms that were among the first to provide evidence in support of self-organization in complex systems. Viewing Swarm, you could be forgiven for thinking that the leaves had a global plan.
Untitled (computational composition) is a work of digital video, computed and rendered in real-time on a desktop computer, and displayed on a wall-mounted high-resolution flatscreen. The images are of thousands of very simple blurred objects flowing or floating across the screen, sometimes moving in unison with their neighbors, and sometimes not. As they move, collective structures repeatedly form and are swept away. Underlying parameters change slowly and subtly, leaving the piece with a different character each time it is approached.