Hybrid Art

0h!m1gas: biomimetic stridulation environment

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

At the request of the artist no material is displayed.

Kuai Shen (EC)


Cyberarts 2013 - International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica 2013

The 0h!m1gas: biomimetic stridulation environment is an artistic research and audiovisual installation that approaches the self-organization in ants as a cybernetic system with emergent manifestations. 0h!m1gas ‘is based on a do-it-yourself approach to bioacoustics, measuring the vibratory sounds and mapping the activity of an ant colony and their relation to the artificial ecosystem where they live. By means of contact microphones and video surveillance interfaced with the computer, which feeds this bio-data to two turntables, the life of the ant colony emerges as a soundscape of scratching effects.

The activity of an ant colony is observed, archiving the ants’ movements and sounds inside a digital matrix. A pair of turntables constantly reacts to the changes that emerge from the colony (e.g., recruiting units for defense, task allocation when rebuilding the nest or organizing the harvesting of vegetation), thus spinning vinyl records that produce scratching sounds similar to the original stridulations (rubbing noises produced by body parts) of some ants. Leafcutter ants use the stridulatory organ, human DJs use the turntable: a reactive soundscape that reveals the connection between scratching as an aesthetic expression created by human culture and the stridulation phenomena of leafcutter ants as a modulation mechanism for communication.

I believe we can learn from the way the ants construct their miniature ecosystems. Like them, we can apply an experimental design approach based on self-organization, where sounds and physical interaction promote and consolidate the interaction of life.