Project 7^2

This web site documents our collaborative project entitled 72. The aim of this project is to realize interactive and generative art installations that combine swarm simulations with video and audio processing and synthesis. The project title 72 stands for swarm-based interactive art. This connection can be derived as follows: 72 equals 49, which is pronuciated in Japanese as Shi-juu-ku or Shi Ku if 4 and 9 are considered seperate digits. On the other hand, the German translation of swarm-based interactive art is Schwarm-basierte interaktive Kunst and can be abbreviated to Sch-I-Ku. The pronunciations of Japanese Shi Ku and German Sch-I-Ku are identical.

The project title 72 possesses many connotations.

For instance, in the field of cognitive psychology, it is well known that the average number of chunks in the human short term memory equals 7. George A. Miller has coined the term magical number seven in 1956. Since our installation turn algorithms that stem from the fields of Artificial Life and Artificial Intelligence into an interactive and aethetic experience, they offer visitors an abstracted mirror that questions their own feelings about being alive and sentient.

Another connotation stems from Buddhism. Here, the word Shi-Ku represents the four sufferings that cannot be avoided by any person: birth, aging, sickness, and death. The project logo not only resembles multiplication 7×7 but also two entities moving straight or curved. One of them follows the trail which is a metaphor for the destiny of life. The other one creats its own path toward its hope. It therefore also symbolizes the struggling of every being alive struggling against these four sufferings. Our artworks are reflections about this constant struggle and will hopefully aid people in gaining a better understanding of themselves.

So far, eight installations have been realized as part of this collaborative project.

Flocking Orchestra: a swarm based interactive orchestra.
Flocking Messenger: a swarm based chat system for two remote persons.
MediaFlies: a swarm based video and audio processing system.
Identity SA: a swarm based abstract animation with deformed reflection of the viewers.
ZugVoegel an extra project: a flocking birds simulator designed for a theater effect of Jiří Kylián's Zugvögel.
Cycles: an interactive installation with combination of camera-based hand tracking and projection of artificial swarm simulation on the visitor's hand.
Visual Liquidizer or Virtual Merge: An audio-visual interactive installation that virtually provides experiences for visitors as if their bodies were merged on the 2D screen.
Rapid Biography in a Society of Evolutionary Lovers: An audio-visual installation that shows evo-eco simulation of thousands of agents on the 2D screen, and reads loud sampled agents' life-stories.

For more information about these projects, please follow the links in the left menu.

Since September 2003, latest update July 16, 2018.
The Project name was changed from Project DaTa to Conducting Flock in October 2004. It was changed again to the current name 72 in July 2007.
The project logo was changed from in July 2018.