An Engine of Many Senses (2013)

Bill Seaman with Todd Berreth
generative installation | sample video/audio output from real-time engine (32:9 aspect ratio for two screens)
custom software written in C++/OpenGL, digital video/audio source material

Bill Seaman, Principle Investigator and Artist (concept and initial design), Todd Berreth (programming and additional design).

An Engine of Many Senses is a generative computational work exploring the history and potential future of the computer. It includes a series of media elements that combine and recombine over time -- 3d images, 2d stills, generative audio, generative media "landscapes", generative text and video components. The work has a series of internal rules that play out different combinatoric strategies, as drawn from an extensive database of architectural typologies and processes. In particular the work includes a series of allegorical time-based images of computers as well as collaged images from the history of the computer and computational history in general. It also includes diagrams of systems that have never been built. The text in the work is combinatoric and is displayed across a series of moving glyphs. The work is always different in that it never plays out the same media elements and/or processes. It is an example of computational creativity. The work is emergent in nature. It can be show on a series of high-definition screens, or via projections in architectural settings.

The allegorical computers include:
1) world - World Computer – Digital Philosophy for Fredkin/Wolfram
2) binary - Von Neumann Machine – for Turing and von Neumann
3) differential - Abstracted Differential Analyzer – for Vannevar Bush
4) dna - DNA Computer for Michael Conrad and Leonard Adleman
5) neural - Neural Network for Hava Siegelmann and Steven Smale
6) human - Human as Computer for Seaman and Ada Lovelace
7) light - Light Computer (Rössler/Seaman)
8) memex - Memex for Vannevar Bush
9) nano - Nano Computer for Eric Drexler
10) electrochemical - Electrochemical Computer for Gordon Pask
11) quantum - Quantum Computer for David Deutch and Stuart Hemeroff
12) replicant - Self-replicating Computer – for von Neumann
13) spin - Electron (Spin) computer for Rössler/Seaman
14) time - Time Computer (T-Computer) for Scott M.Hithcock
15) analogue - Analogue Computer / Maverick Machine for Gordon Pask
16) wave - Wave Computer/ Well Stirred – for O. E. Rössler and Hugh Everett the 3rd


download entire video:
Engine of Many Senses_sample_video (two screen, h.264, 3840x1080) (30:00) (3.54gb) (right click->Save Link As....)
Engine of Many Senses_sample_video (one screen, h.264, 1920x1080) (22:00) (1.34gb) (right click->Save Link As....)

technical requirements

screen captures of generative software (click for larger image) :

Copyright © 2013 by Bill Seaman.