Project 72> Identity-SA
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T his artwork entitled Identity-sa is involved in the Identity series of Project 72 that used to be known as the project Conducting Flock. This is a type of screen-based installation with visual feedback and sound synthesis, but it provides a new type of animation of aesthetic graphics and deformed reflection of visitor's image.

E ach of us, a human, wishes to know who ourselves are. This is one of the eternal questions of human beings from the ancient ages. However, it is difficult to find a satisfiable answer because we don't have enough ability to either sense or think of ourselves. Sometimes we observe ourselves through a reflection in the others. But it is always unclear, fuzzy, ambiguous, and uncertain. Even it might be an illusion. How can we know the true entity of ourselves? Or, why do we intend to know it? We would be glad if this artwork could provide a chance for visitors to think about these questions deeply.

W e have tried to realize a generative animation including the viewers' figure in a style of abstract paintings. The animation is displayed on the computer screen. Once visitors approach it, a fuzzy image of their figure appears on the screen. Then it scatters and disappears when they stop their motion. It looks like a process of disorder by disease and aging. Or, it also looks like a struggle of the immune system against the infecting bacteria, or self-repair process to recover the injury. Sickness and aging are the elements of four inescapable sufferings combined with birth and death in Buddhism teaching. It is called Shi-Ku and Shoh-Roh-Byoh-Shi in Japanese pronunciation. The postfix of the title SA stands for sickness and aging.

S imilarly to the other works of this project, we simulate swarm agents on the computer. In this work, 2,000 agents form a flock following BOID algorithm in 2D space, that has enough density to cover whole of the screen. The flock is drawn in some alternative styles, triangles, curves, branches, fuzzy textures, and spray spots. Combination of shapes, colors, and interaction between two species, it forms dynamic appearance in a rich variety of animations. The system detects a moving object from a series of images captured by the live camera. It affects the motion and colors of the agents. Sounds are also synthesized so as to synchronize with the movement of agents and visitors.



Tatsuo Unemi
Department of Information Systems Science, Soka University.
Daniel Bisig
ICST, Zurich University of the Arts, and
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, University of Zurich.


Version 1.8.1 is available from App Store. It's free.
Click here to get the older version. This is a disk image file including the binary executable, samples of settings and scripts. April 3, 2009

System Reqiurements

  • Version 1.8.1
    • OS: MacOS X 10.7 or 10.8
    • CPU: Intel 64 bits.
  • Version 1.7.2
    • OS: MacOS X 10.4, 10.5, or 10.6
    • CPU: PowerPC G5 or Intel. Faster than or equal to G5 2GHz, and Intel 1.66GHz are recommended.
    • Memory: 256MB
    • Camera: iSight

Sample Movie

  • A sample screen shot working with a scripted control. 320x240, 15 fps, MPEG-4, 2 min. 13 sec., 9.1MB. Revised on Sept. 1, 2007.
  • Sample shots on YouTube.

Promotion Movie with Narration

  • H.264 QuickTime Movie, 15 fps, 5 min. 25 sec. Revised on Oct. 11, 2007.
  • Small version 320x240, 14.1 MB
  • Large version 720x480, 77.2 MB
  • YouTube ... uploaded on Oct. 14, 2007


  • We are pleased to accept donation to support and encourage our current and future projects.
  • Click here for online donation.



Since August 13, 2007. Updated on September 11, 2013.
© 2007-2013, Tatsuo Unemi and Daniel Bisig.