The Phase Transitioning Seed Drawings of Clement Valla
Sunday, 10 April 2011
Seed Drawings – Clement Valla
Clement Valla’s Seed Drawings document the emergent process of a chain of individuals copying a small line drawing and then passing it onto the next to repeat the process a 1000 times. Each complete drawing is an aggregate of many smaller drawings grouped together. The works were made using the crowd-sourcing online tool Mechanical Turk, which ‘allows programmers (Requesters) to co-ordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks which computers are unable to do’.
The drawings contain the characteristic patterns of emergent systems that have local interactions occurring between constituent parts without knowledge of the global configuration. Like a game of Telephone [Chinese whispers] the line changes over time with successive copies containing amplifications of ‘anomalies’ and ‘features’ over time. When reconfigured as a whole in a grid-like lattice we are made aware of the change in state of each line over time. There are areas of phase transition within the global structure, neighbourhoods of different kinds of lines, textures and colours evolving in characteristic from one location to another. The final outcome displays aspects of organic growth – mimicking natural emergent self-organising systems such as termite mounds, lichen growth or slime mould configurations. Whereas the former system relies on a chain of information being passed from each individual to the next (a one-to-one interaction) natural systems often rely on a more complex many-to-many network system to create the trademark aggregations.
Other works by Clement also harness the power of networked and collaborative programmable systems that question the hegemony of authorship. He goes on to note that ‘like an anamorphic projection, my programs produce distortions that reveal their own underlying logic, but also point to the system as it functions when we fail to notice it – when it works conventionally.’
Clements work was originally spotted at Infrabodies