Saturday, April 19, 2008

Describing Babelswarm

Given the increasing interest in Babelswarm, and the backwards nature of blogs (first stuff last) I thought it appropriate to re-describe the artwork. So...

Babelswarm is a real-time, interactive, audiovisual artwork built in Second Life. The installation is based on the story of The Tower of Babel – a mythical tale of humanity's desire to reach the heavens. Babelswarm is contained within an entire SIM with visitor chat captured and fed into a meta-babeller. This babeller spills words from the sky and into an amphitheater (performance space). The words shatter on their decent and, once settled, begin to swarm in random directions seeking out other letters that held the same numerical position in the word they were born with. If they find a partner they bond and help create the tower's structure. Eventually each letter will sleep, but can be re-awoken or destroyed by touch.

The artwork is an exploration of emergent bahaviour and swarm theory. There is of course more meaning, but we'll leave it up to others to discover and discuss. Of most importance to us is the joy of watching the tower evolve through the interactions of participants like you. Your words are its nourishment and will be forever archived in the babeller's memory.

Not Possible IRL has a great article for those interested in more info, and you can download Justin's essay for a deeper look at the underlying theories and background. Or you can teleport straight in...

No comments: