Autopoiesis

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Autopoiesis is an artificial life robotic series of fifteen musical and robotic sculptures that interact with the public and modify their behaviors based on the both the presences of the participants in the exhibition and the communication between each separate sculpture.

This series of robotic sculptures talk with each other through a hardwired network and audible telephone tones, which are a musical language for the group.

«Autopoiesis, is a robotic sculpture installation commissioned by the
Kiasma Museum in Helsinki, Finland as part of Outoaly,
the Alien Intelligence Exhibition curated by Erkki Huhtamo, 2000.
It consists of fifteen robotic sound sculptures that interact with the
public and modify their behaviors over time. These behaviors change based
on feedback from infrared sensors, the presence of the participant/viewers
in the exhibition and the communication between each separate sculpture.
This series of robotic sculptures talk with each other through a computer
network and audible telephone tones, which are a musical language for
the group. Autopoiesis is «self making», a characteristic of all living
systems which was defined and refined by Francisco Varella and Humberto
Maturana. The interactivity engages the viewer/participant who in turn,
effects the system’s evolution and emergence. This creates a system evolution
as well as an overall group sculptural aesthetic. Autopoiesis breaks out
of standard interfaces (mouse) and playback methodologies (CRT) and presents
an interactive environment, which is immersive, detailed and able to evolve
in real time by utilizing feedback and interaction from audience/participant
members.

Autopoiesis utilizes a number of unique approaches to create this complex
and evolving environment. It uses smart sensor organization that senses
the presence of the viewer/participant and allows the robotic sculpture
to respond intelligently. I have used smart sensor organization in past
papers to describe the process of organizing the sensors in such a way
that they can be minimized in number while maximizing the abilities of
the software to cope with the data. This idea was also explored at the
Fourth Neuromorphic Engineering workshop at the Telluride Summer Research
Center where participants noted that just a few sensors can be used to
create complex interaction if the sensors are properly organized. For
example, at the top of each sculptural element (or arm) four passive infrared
sensors face North, South, East and West. When two sensors are triggered,
the program knows that someone is located in, for instance, the Southeast
corner and this is the direction the sculpture moves to. Four sensors
allow eight quadrants of sensing. These passive infrared sensors tell
each arm to move in the direction of the viewer, while the active infrared
sensor located at the tip stops the arm as it arrives within inches of
the viewer. This allows the sculpture to display both attraction and repulsion
behaviors.»[1]

[1] http://www.ylem.org/artists/krinaldo/works/autopoiesis/autopoiesis.html

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