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Eight-Bit Ant Farm, 2002
This installation is the result of a 1989 residency at MIT.
This interactive multimedia sculpture deals with issues of Complexity Theory. More specially, it explores self-referential semi-autonomous adaptive systems.
eight-1.jpgEight-Bit Ant Farm is an equal three-way collaboration between Remo Campopiano, Guy Marsden and Jonathan Schull.

Created:
2002
Size: 28" x 28" x 6'
Weight: 150 lbs.
Special Requirements: at least 12 foot ceiling height with floor & ceiling receptacles.
Materials: one laptop computer running Windows XP and Python, 3 PIC microcontrollers programmed in BASIC, 128 ping-pong balls, green oasis material, 1000 live red ants, 64 solenoids, 128 LEDs, 2 - X10 video cameras, 4 mirrors, wood, clear plastic and assorted electronics.

How It Works:
A camera in the ceiling and a camera in the ant cube samples the changes in the gallery and the ant colony. The activities of ants and the activities of people combine and interact to control the illumination of 64 ping pong balls, the bouncing of 64 more ping pong balls, and a computer display reflected and refracted in a hall of mirrors. The computer processes and displays ever-changing images of people and ants, in a manner that highlights and explains how these two biological collectives  (ants and people) control the larger system that is the artwork and its environment.  

eight-2.gifThe larger system-the installation, the ants, and the people-thus constitute a single self-referential system in which the act of observation influences the phenomena being observed, including the observer's own understanding of life at the intersection of bio-culture and techno-culture.
 
Copyright@1991-2013, Remo Campopiano, 3335 Johnson Street, NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Phone: (614) 353-8290, Email: remocampopiano@gmail.com.