PURE MOVEMENT 3
I am fascinated by the varied yet balanced movement of insect swarms. I perceive beauty in the movement itself, separate from the creature which produces it.
To represent my perception I formalise the behavioural rules of the movement and translate them into computational instructions. Every member in a swarm is autonomous, there is no leader. The movement is created because each entity follows a set of behavioural rules: align with the movements of your neighbours, move toward the average of your neighbours’ positions, keep at a distance from your neighbours, move towards a specified point in space, wander aimlessly.
For the execution of those rules only a limited radius around the entity is evaluated. Although based on very simple behavioural rules, the resulting group movement becomes very complex. My computational representation of swarm behaviour draws on the work of Craig W. Reynolds and Daniel Shiffman.
I visualise the abstract algorithm using the aesthetic language I developed in my photographic work which explores marginal scenes in my everyday surroundings.
I represent variations of the algorithm in different environments.
Pure Movement 3, environment 1
digital video loop generated by custom algorithm 1:07 min; HD resolution; 2015
Pure Movement 3, environment 1.2
digital video loop generated by custom algorithm [above: 30 sec excerpt]; HD resolution; 2016
The work has been awarded the Future Fest Art Prize 2016. It is available on digital art platform s[edition].
Environment 2 is a semi-obscured window of a contemporary art gallery.
The movement is projected so it becomes visible from inside and outside the building. Only the view from inside reveals that the movement is created with a combination of a Raspberry Pi computer and a video projector.
The movement of each virtual entity is calculated and displayed continuously in real time. It only repeats theoretically and in infinity.
Pure Movement 3, environment 2
installation (custom software, Raspberry Pi computer, video projector) site specific work, created for Gazelli Art House, London; width approx. 80 cm, height approx. 30 cm; 2015
The work was created as a site specific installation for Gazelli Art House, London.
Environment 3 is a set of three custom built structures. Each structure consists of a Raspberry Pi computer and a 5-inch LCD screen. All 3 structures independently run the same algorithm but result in 3 different visual results.
The movement of each virtual entity is calculated and displayed continuously in real time.
Pure Movement 3, environment 3
installation (custom software, three structures each consisting of one Raspberry Pi computer and one 5″ LCD screen); width 48 cm, height 12 cm, depth 3 cm; 2016
The work was exhibited at the ‘Pure Movements’ exhibition at Centrum [contemporary art space] Berlin in May 2017 and Gazelli Art House London in 2018.
Environment 4 is the window pane of Centrum [contemporary art space] Berlin.
The movement is generated by a custom algorithm running on Raspberry Pi computer. The movement of each virtual entity is calculated and projected continuously in real time.
‘The subtlety that Nolden observes and represents in her work is mirrored by its positioning in the space. Above the large storefront window, a narrow upper window—its translucent surface penetrated by light from both sides—becomes a screen for projection, in which a network of changing motions runs in real-time, in unpredictable, infinite variations. The flock of bird silhouettes that carry out these movements alternately filter through the window, seemingly from beyond it, and are an articulation of its surface: with the window as both a frame for existing images and a material for generating new ones.’ from an article by Julianne Cordray for BerlinArtLink.com 16/5/2017
Pure Movement 3, environment 4
installation (custom software, Raspberry Pi computer, video projector); projection on semi-transparent window pane 30 x 150 cm; 2017
The work was exhibited at the ‘Pure Movements’ exhibition at Centrum [contemporary art space] Berlin in May 2017.