Phillip Stearns

Pixel Form

As visitors enter the installation, they are presented with a sprawling web of lamps and wire suspended from the ceiling, reminiscent of depictions of networks found in science textbooks. The lamps pulse and flash in evolving patterns, and are spaced apart, inviting visitors to enter the space of the work. As they move amongst the hanging lamps, their presence is registered by light sensors; they are essentially altering the topology of the network of lamps by blocking light from reaching the sensors. Each lamp is controlled by an identical configuration of electronics that turns the lamps on or off, depending on the total amount of light gathered by the light sensors. Because the light level determines which lamps are on and off, thus effecting the total light level, the system becomes equilibrium-seeking; the exact topology of the network determines whether equilibrium is reached or whether dynamical generative patterns emerge. The resulting experience is of being bathed in softly flickering light that ripples throughout the space, surrounding the visitor with generative patterns of light and dark, varying from steady states to stroboscopic chaos. Playfulness, exploration, and discovery are encouraged through the interactive translation of movement into very immediate, tangible and yet slightly un-intuitive shifting patterns of flickering light. These patterns will generate an experience similar to the stroboscopic hallucinations produced by Tony Conrad’s film, “The Flicker”. Rather than use the medium of film to trick the visual cortex into forming visual hallucinations, “c. 15:33” exploits the generative nature of neural network models.

Founded in 2000, the first years of the group were dedicated to making experimental videoclips with electroacoustic music. From 2002 on, they started to work with and genetic art, with the simulation of processes of living beings. In 2003, the group started to make performances and interactive installations with the public’s movement capacitation systems. They exhibited at MALBA, Centro Cultural Recoleta, MACLA (La Plata), C.C. Borges, C.C. Gral. San Martín, Fundación Telefónica and Fundación OSDE, among other places. The group received national and international awards. From the beginning, they pursue working with the concept of relation between the work and the public, creating new ways of participation and interpretation, always after the dream of, some day, being able to create the “living work”.