The Idea Center is an installation composed of 3 apps: Flicker, Mandala, and Gen. Flicker and Mandala were made using Processing, Gen is a PureData program.
Flicker generates randomly positioned and sized geometrical objects that flicker before the user’s eyes. Mandala does a similar thing, however, this time the position of objects is symmetrical and, although showing only simple shapes on each frame, the flickering creates multilayered, complex, mandala-like shapes, that only exist in user’s mind. Gen works as a sequencer and asynchronous beats and interference generator.
All three apps are shown on two separate screens and controlled by the same MIDI controller — the user is free to “play” with it without any instructions however they want and their interaction triggers changes (shape size, frame rate, frequencies of the oscillators) in either one, two or all three apps at the same time.
Their aim is to:
1. create a situation opposite to the “meditational" software visualizers and psychowalkmans — they attack the user with undecipherable visual information, block the user’s ability to think clearly, and create a feeling of unrest, confusion, and anxiety — yet letting the user be in control of their own suffering, thus putting them in the position of a masochist,
2. juxtapose the religion (Mandala) and art (Flicker) of an alternative-reality dystopian society* — one that has replaced creative thinking with algorithms and looks for the emergence of meaning in machine-generated randomness, as the random numbers are always a result of an equation — a higher plan,
3. create the illusion of being able to hack into someone’s mind* — Flicker was directly inspired by Dominika Žáková’s abstract paintings.
All three apps are available on GitHub: github.com/franzmilec.
The whole installation is part of the Dystopia project and should be installed within its context.