hills we climb

Back from the beautiful Zillertal in Tirol – where i showed „hills we climb“ at the futurelab conference (see here and here) – i just realized that my living room might be a bit too small for the arena version of my drawing machine, which was the heart of my installation. Gonna have to throw out my sofa, i guess..

The approach of drawing seismographic patterns (as mentioned in my last post) evolved to a more, eh, mountainy output: drawing hills we need to climb. We were in Tirol after all, alps as far as the eye can reach. Still, the idea was to create an installation that is closely related to the topics of the conference while being abstract and slow enough to give room to meditate over our future. So the first step was to collect thousands of scientific papers about these topics (a half automated process, crawling through online databases using keywords like demography, mobility, migration, integration, energy, resources, sustainability, education, technology, innovation etc.).

I then fed this huge body of text through a semantic analysis that gave me a network and weighting of concepts related to these documents and the terms whithin. Following the summit symbolics of the conference subtitles („see the peak“, „reach the peak“) i decided to create mountainscapes of this data, using a kernel that i chose more or less on aesthetic terms. Finally, to create line drawings that my bot can handle, i programmed a physical simulation that can be best described as „throwing spaghetti into a terrain“.

And even if all of this may sound a bit complicated, and considering that building the bot was also a tiny challenge, one of the major hurdles was to find strong, black, unfolded paper with the size of 3 x 2 squaremeters. If you ever need paper this size – or even bigger – the searchterm is „photo background paper“, i got mine from hama at blende7).

So here are some pictures:


I am quite happy whit the throwing-spaghetti-method that i developed, and i am definitely going to explore that further. After some tests with portraits i can now clearly see the end of days for my sofa to make room for more experiments with the bot.

hugs, hons