Audiovisualisation of a modified Lorenz dynamical system
Construction in Zhuangzi is a live “audiovisualisation”: the simultaneous sonification and visualisation of the same process and data in real-time. It is based on a modified Lorenz dynamical system, a three-dimensional model of convection that is non-linear and chaotic and has sensitive dependence on initial conditions or the “butterfly effect”.
A performance consists of an attempt at understanding and controlling the mechanisms of the near-autonomous generative system through an improvisation involving the modifications of the parameters of the Lorenz. Moments of human intervention are indicated by a colour inversion and an audio click. Lorenz stated that the equations do not produce realistic representations at large values of the parameters of the equations. In the work, these parameters are taken to beyond their original real-world limits in order to explore a speculative world. An appropriately machinic or post-human sensibility is evoked through a digital noise/glitch presentation of the emergent phenomena.
The work is featured in the Electronic Music volume of the Cambridge Introductions to Music series. A fixed-media version of the work was awarded 2nd prize at the Fresh Minds Festival, TX, and was part of the official selection for Videomedeja – 16th International Video Festival and MADATAC 04 Contemporary New Media Audio-Visual Arts Festival.
For more details, see the article “Audiovisual Harmony: The realtime audiovisualisation of a single data source in Construction in Zhuangzi“ Organised Sound 17(2), 2012. It is also featured in the Electronic Music volume of the Cambridge Introductions to Music series.