Chaotic fingerprints and space-time labyrinths

Talysis I – Paul Prudence

Here are some stills from Talysis – a short film I made for the Crystalpunk Workshop for Soft Architecture held in Utrecht, Holland in Autumn 2005. The film explored elements self-organisation and crystallisation – autocatalytic replication and recursive symmetry using digital video feedback.

Its navigates the possibility of a sentient geometry to produce a stream of geometric archetypes; a collective unconscious for emergent dynamical systems; a video feedback language system for pattern recognition.

Video Feedback is a great example of real-time evolving self-organising systems near the edge of chaos. With a relatively simple camera-monitor/TV set-up you can produce a vast spectrum of time-based fractal species, many of which bare great similarity to the complex dynamical systems found in nature.

Video Feedback patterns are produced by pointing the camera at a monitor or TV to create a visual feedback loop. Complex animated patterns are made of light which is trapped in a loop. There doesn’t seem to be any obvious practical application for video feedback but the forms generated are hypnotic and beautiful.

Video Feedback

One of the great things about experimenting with VF is that you cannot often predict the form of the final recursive vortex.

VF species come in all shapes and sizes. Often they resemble common fractal forms like that of the Julia set or Sierpinski triangle. Elsewhere perfect labyrinths immerge out of the void, sometimes fine lineations form into fingerprints. Many of the shapes generated can be found in nature – Some VF forms look like micro-organisms or resemble artforms in nature – particularly radiolarians. Sometimes they take on the form of spiral galaxies and star clusters from deep space.

The best site dealing with VF on the web has to be Jesper Peterson’s which has links to a great many pictures and galleries as well as essays and info on generating VF patterns. To start with check out his personal collection.

XXLux – Barbara Doser Hofstette

Feedback freaks have done their best to outline their set-ups for producing different kinds of VF shapes – a basic set-up with instructions for generating VF patterns can be found here.

In order to make fractal feedback the cameras image needs to be multiplied and recombined so that the images may overlap freely. Here are some instructions on exactly how to do this.

Finally it should be noted that these artefacts spark Dataisnatures’s attention over to Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Card the Six of Wands – Swiftness. Of Which the MegaTherion says in his Book of Thoth:

‘The card refers to Hod, splendour, in the suit of Fire, whence it refers to the phenomena of speech, light and electricity.

The pictorial representation of the card shows the Light-wands turned into electrical rays, sustaining or even constituting Matter by their vibrating energy. Above this restored universe shine rainbow; the division of pure light, which deals with maxima, into the seven colours of the spectrum, which exhibit interplay and correlation.

It will be noted that there are no flames; they have all been taken up into the wands to turn them into rays. On the other hand, the electric energy has created intelligible geometric form.’

Dataisnature is directly concerned with the apparent sentience behind these geometrical forms and their secret syntax.

One Response to “Chaotic fingerprints and space-time labyrinths”

  1. Marius Watz writes:

    “…Talysis mimics analog video feedback systems, recursively transforming a geometric form through a series of render passes until a crystalline form emerges. The patterns produced seem unstable, constantly about to morph into new configurations.” [link]

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