[spectre] // Launch: System_C

Marius Watz marius at unlekker.net
Wed Dec 15 12:55:17 CET 2004

// Launch: System_C, Marius Watz
////// Software object, Java + Java2D.
////// Original piece for Electrohype 2004, 27.11.2004 - 23.01.2005
////// http://systemc.unlekker.net/

System_C is a time-based drawing machine, a self-organizing software system 
for the creation of rule-based images. Several autonomous agents move over 
a surface, making marks as they move, seen by visitors to the Electrohype 
exhibition as a realtime two-screen projection.

Some physicists define glass not as a solid but rather as a slow-moving 
liquid, so viscous that we cannot observe its movement. System_C draws its 
images slowly enough to be perceived as nearly static, yet is in reality in 
a process of slow development. In all, over 360 images will be produced 
during the 8 weeks Electrohype is running.

The drawing process is modelled on a simple kinetic system. Each agent has 
a speed and direction that both smoothly change for every step. When the 
speed or rate of rotation exceeds the minimum or maximum constraints, they 
start reversing so that their values tend toward the other extreme, causing 
a subtle oscillation between values over time. Different values for the 
constraints result in visually different but recognizably related images.

Each image takes an hour to complete. Once an image is done, the surface is 
cleared, the drawing system is set to a randomized initial state and the 
drawing process starts over. The images that are created are saved and 
uploaded to the web every few minutes so that online users can observe the 
most recent activity. All completed images are saved with a time stamp 
indicating the time of their creation. An archive documents the whole 
period of the exhibition.

The piece can be seen online at http://systemc.unlekker.net/. Electrohype 
can be visited at http://www.electrohype.org/. The artist wishes to thank 
Lars Gustav Midtboe and Anna Kindvall for their persistence in running an 
important resource for Nordic media art.

Marius Watz works with generative strategies for creating visual form. His 
work is marked by playful organic shapes and a signature style of visual 
hedonism. His current work focuses on the concept of time-based drawing 
machines as well as visual performance for music.

marius watz

More information about the SPECTRE mailing list