Silhouettes I-IV

Silhouettes I-IV is an interactive installation that allows viewers to directly engage with four visual simulations using the captured outline of their bodies. The piece pays homage to the work of John Conway, Gray Scott, and others who developed simple rules and systems that capture the surprising and unpredictable patterns in nature. These algorithms are wholly deterministic yet have the potential to generate organic and lifelike imagery and motion. Silhouettes I-IV expands these iconic algorithms and brings them to life through an interactive visual experience.

The installation presents four distinct systems, each which visualize a different physical model. Participants interact each system through their movement and presence in the space. Two of the systems explore different “reaction diffusion” models, a process of visualizing the flow of liquid substances into one another. Another employs particle and fluid simulations, in which the observer’s own movement is fed into the motion of the system, creating chaotic smoke like effects. Lastly, are a set of variations on John Conway’s classic “Game of Life” simulation, where viewer’s silhouettes shepherd the growth and decay of pixels into shifting patterns. Each system changes slowly over the course of 10 minutes, moving through colors and variations before transitioning to the next. Viewers paying close attention will notice subtle shifts in pattern, texture and color, while larger transformative changes are easily observed by all.

Silhouettes I-IV was premiered at the Threads All Arts Festival in Ypsilanti, MI (2018.)