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Reactive matter
scenocosme : Grégory Lasserre & Anaïs met den Ancxt

"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".

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                                ➔ Other artwork : Voxels structure 002

                                ➔ Other artwork : Arborescence 003

Reactive matter : Rhizome 001
Interactive light and sound behavioural installation
Programmable material and electronic clay
Scenocosme : Grégory Lasserre & Anaïs met den Ancxt

Blow on the membrane of the artwork
or caress it gently

and emit different vocalizations

"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.
Sensitive, robotic bases also influence each other, between neighbouring cells, like cooperative living organisms. "Rhizome" is inspired by the communication and spatial arrangement of plants, corals, termites, fireflies, micro-organisms 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 fabrication methods for realizing these “catoms” is being invented. For now, only few research laboratories in the world are developing macroscopic-sized prototypes. They are also developing new algorithms and specific electronics that allow “catoms” to communicate together to constitute a single whole. Each element of this matter can be programmable.

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).

“Blinky Blocks” can be assembled as easily as LEGO. With these elements the artists Scenocosme build interactive sculptures in which each brick has its own software and behaviour. The whole object is able to produce environments with simulated artificial behaviours.
This project have started during the Art & Science residency program: Vertigo S-T-ARTS (Science Technology and the ARTS). Initiated by IRCAM, this project aims to "promote the collaboration of artists with projects in the field of 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.

Support and co-production :

With the great helps of Julien Bourgeois, Benoit Piranda, André Naz, Frédéric Lassabe, Nicolas Boillot, Theophile Huau Armani

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

Soutien : MA scène nationale de Montbéliard

      Programmable Matter :

Previous exhibitions of Reactive matter : Rhizome 001

Creation february 2020

Biennale Arts Sciences / Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté - Besançon (Fr)
"Réseaux - Partout tu tisses"
22/05/2021 - 22/05/2021

Numerica | Pôle Numérique de Bourgogne Franche Comté - Montbéliard (Fr)
MA scène nationale
16/04/2021 - 16/04/2021

Le Centquatre / établissement artistique - Paris (Fr)
STARTS Residencies
"Art X Technology X Innovation"
28/02/2020 - 01/03/2020 :

Biennale Experimenta / Arts Sciences - Grenoble (Fr)
11/02/2020 - 15/02/2020 :

Previous talk about Reactive matter

Biennale Arts Sciences / Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté - Besançon (Fr)
"Réseaux - Partout tu tisses"
22/05/2021 - 22/05/2021

Festival Scopitone - Nantes (Fr)
Journée professionnelle Starts
Conférence : Innovation at the nexus of science, technology and the arts
21/09/2018 :

Centre Pompidou - Paris (Fr)
Festival Manifeste / IRCAM
Curated by IRCAM and VERTIGO
Conférence Starts Residencies / Science Technology and the ARTS
15/06/2018 :,,

Scenocosme : Gregory Lasserre & Anais met den Ancxt -