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"Reactive matter" is a series of interactive behavioural artworks realised by the artist duo Scenocosme with specific kind of "Programmable Matter" hardware called "Blinky Blocks".
Reactive matter : Rhizome 001
Interactive light and sound behavioural installation
Programmable material and electronic clay
Scenocosme : Grégory Lasserre & Anaïs met den Ancxt
"Rhizome 001" is a sculptural and interactive artwork that reacts like a living organism.
Like a root, this sculpture deploys in the area, perceives and feels its environment. This hybrid electronic ecosystem is composed of more than 120 independent cellular robotic structures that are linked together.
Each group of cells is grafted with a transparent membrane that allows it to feel the caresses and breath of the spectators. Each robotic structure also perceives sounds and reacts with different feedbacks. The variations change depending on the intonations of the voices and the duration of the vocalizations. Each of the 120 electronic cells is retroactive. They emit different sounds, rhythms and light intensities in response to the audience stimuli.
The artwork surface is made of 120 micro-controllers, 120 independent micro-speakers, 120 light sources, etc.
"Programmable Matter" and "Claytronics" (electronic clay)
The nano-metric robots called “claytronics” atoms (or “catoms”) could be assembled to form larger objects. The denomination is a contraction of “clay” and “electronics”. The principle is to create small interactive objects capable of being linked together for design large structures that can be freely transformed. This is the concept of synthetic reality. They are Called catoms” by analogy with the term “atom”. Assembling through electromagnetic forces these objects can interact together. These “catoms” can form easily modifiable objects such as modelling clay.
The “Blinky Blocks”
The artists Scenocosme: Grégory Lasserre & Anaïs met den Ancxt are currently developing several interactive sculptural projects with a specific "Programmable Matter" hardware: the “Blinky Blocks”. For doing this project they collaborating with the scientists Julien Bourgeois and Benoit Piranda of the research lab FEMTO-ST (Science & Technology).
The “Blinky Blocks” are “claytronics” originally developed by the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In France, at Montbéliard, on the site Numerica, the research laboratory FEMTO-ST (Science -Technology) is working on the algorithmic part of the Blinky Blocks.
The current generation of “Blinky blocks” are cubic, 4cm-side. These electronic devices are capable of emitting coloured light and sound. They are equipped with a gyroscopic sensors and a microphone. They are perceiving the sound, the vibrations, the movements and they can interact with each other. It is possible to agglomerate them by magnetization and they are able to transmit computer data to their neighbours.
Other "Programmable Matter" hardware are being developed at the University of Tokyo with a spherical shape, a size of a few millimetres and with the ability to move by themselves. The difficulty is to create object capable of changing shape and being conscience of its shape in the physical space. This is necessary to inject programs and "Artificial Intelligence" into these tiny robots to give them the ability to shape complex objects and to interact with each other.
We are all made up of atoms aggregate together. The principle of "Programmable Matter" is similar: to develop primary bricks capable of communicating with each other in order to organize themselves.
Artwork realised with the support of the VERTIGO project as part of the STARTS program of the European Commission, based on technological elements “Programmable Matter” from the research lab FEMTO-ST / CNRS
Creation february 2020