Rarely does a new-media installation based on pure technique evoke emotions that reach so far beyond technology. 12_series, a multi-channel computer installation, slowly but surely draws the viewer into still unexplored territory, where emotion and meaning will quickly surpass technical ingenuity.

Twelve identical monitors and speakers are installed in a pitch-black room, driven by the same number of similar image and sound machines. The makers of 12_series have developed a computer programme to clarify two important generative principles: those of the evolutionary development and the decentralized autonomous decision process. Although the monitors and speakers are all built up from the same binary DNA, a game of question and answer develops between them, a game of move and response. Imitation, mutation and rearrangement of image and sound make a set of rudimentary shapes, sounds and logic degenerate into a complex, new idiom. Reacting to each other and to the centrally determined variables, individual image and sound landscapes slowly but surely begin to emerge from the synchronous starting point, and momentarily free themselves from the group. These are, as it were, individual identities with a jargon of their own. They do not really separate themselves from the group; they, too, evoke a response. Exchange and reinterpretation of the variations, which are partly generated by deliberately incorporated errors, conjure up new dimensions, layer by layer. They appear to be the building blocks of a seemingly endless development that exceeds our imagination.

12_Series installation up & running at Woodstreet Galleries Pittsburgh USA.

Installation running on the new macmini's c2d / 2.0ghz / 3mb L2 / 2gb ram / 256mb vram. All software made with Max/MSP/Jitter, with a few custom solutions by dk@telco and tim@tap.

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12_Series is a new generative multichannel computer installation by Telcosystems (NL).

The installation is an audiovisual horizon comprised of twelve identical image and sound generating machines.

The software for these machines is based on the idea of evolution, implementing forms of audiovisual imitation, mutation and recombination, aiming for the emergence of captivating complexity from a vocabulary of rudimentary shapes, sounds and logic.

The system is build around the notion of decentralized autonomous decision making, where each machine displays its own generative behavior, while reacting to behavior of neighboring machines and adapting to centrally organized environmental variables. In this way the installation focuses on the tension between the individual and the group, between the machine specific development and the group dynamics that determine the ever-evolving horizon.

Imitation will be used as a way to start complex group behavior, steering groups of machines into similar audiovisual directions. Mutation will initiate variation, by injecting errors into this imitation process and recombination enables the interchange and reinterpretation of output material amongst the twelve machines, adding another layer of coherency.
Besides finding ways to create the building blocks that assemble into complex generative individuals, the aim is to find boundaries for their mutative behavior, in a way that allows the result to surpass our imagination.

12_Series will have its world premiere the 24th of April 2009 at Woodstreet Galleries Pittsburgh.

12_Series is produced by Spatial Media Laboratories, in collaboration with Baltan Laboratories, and Woodstreet Galleries.

12_Series is made possible with the generous support of Fonds BKVB, Mondriaan Foundation, The Netherlands Film Fund and DKC Rotterdam.

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