[Talysis - CA's from Video Feedback] - A New Kind of Science: The NKS Forum
A New Kind of Science: The NKS Forum
Talysis - CA's from Video Feedback(Click here to view the original thread with full colors/images)
Posted by: Paul Prudence
Last year I made a video feedback film for a workshop that looked into methods of autocatalytic image making - I was thrilled to see amongst various species of fractals some Cellular Automata!
'Talysis (9 min DVD) 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 scrying and pattern recognition.'
I'm using some aspects of symmetry with the digital video feedback, this enables me to extract highly recursive structures including these incredible evolving CA scrolls. The film shows pulses of CA activity evolving in heart/tree shapes and other biological forms.
Talysis begins to behave as a computer program by organising and animating units in a near identical way to a Cellular Automata. One sequence of Talysis behaves like the Game of Life, and implies that Video Feedback has the ability to simulate the calculations of recursive algorithms and actually behave as a computer.
I'm interested in the fact the you can author different kinds of these dynamical visual systems through specific hand gestures with the camera. I.e. a particular movement of the camera gives a particular fractal or CA rule. Maybe we could build up a lexicon of gestures that approximate different forms - a kind of Video Feedback sign language? :)
Since making Talysis I've been very interested in producing or finding CA's outside of the computer program paradigm.
Hope you enjoy the pictures and the fact that CA’s can be born outside of computer algorithms. I should have a video file up online shortly.
For more info and stills check out
Posted by: Jesse Nochella
Yes, I am interested in this also. You could have a shorthand for different emergent forms that could also be communicated between two humans that know the system, possibly. You could sample a synthetic 'gesture space' with stimulators other than hands, say some simple set of geometric figures or acutal figures extracted from this space of pattern you have generated. Let's see, what else?
How exactly did you set up the physical apparatus. What matters in the implementation. Does it have to be DV. Are there any other layers of processing that occur? What kinds of gestures?
It would be great to be able to set up a camera on any computer and allow a person to play with these images, practice gestures to evoke particular patterns, show other people how to do it, explore new gestures and forms, post gestures etc. Is there any way to do this? Have there been any interactive exhibits? How might one set this up on a computer—what are the basic rules behind Talysis' operation?
Posted by: Paul Prudence
Thanks for the interest; you’ve reflected some interested points. I’m excited by your ‘synthetic gesture space with stimulators other than hands’. It might be, in fact, that sound and voice itself could be used to shape the different types of output to produce a lexicon of dynamical glyphs.
Glad you asked about interactive exhibits! I am currently working on an interactive installation version of Talysis to be experienced later this year in Brazil at a media festival. I’m looking at many different ways of sampling the environment to affect the digital video feedback, and more so ways of philosophically examining what these shapes could possibly mean to us from a metaphorical angle. I suspect that it means different things to different people; this is in essence what I meant about a personal archetype sensed through a kind of pattern recognition or scrying moment.
Options so far include web tracking, sound analysis and even tangible interfaces such a musical keyboards where midi data can easily be used to trigger the delicate parameters of the system.
As far practical set-ups, the method is quite straightforward. The trick is to capture the ‘capturing’ when it becomes interesting and then cause a recursive loop of ever increasing complexity. Although I’m well versed in the literature, I am no hardcore scientist J
Try this. Grab any software that will capture video and display it live, divide the screen in half and reflect the two halves. Point the camera at the output screen window. Adjust the contrast and exposure on the camera and rotate the camera by hand. Things will start to happen. Most VJ software will have the ability to divide the screen symmetrically in this way to make things easier. Please let me know if you want a more detailed breakdown.
Posted by: Jesse Nochella
So you take a webcam, dv camcorder etc, hook it up, have it display its output on the screen, take a mirror and place it vertically across the center of the screen and place the camera facing both the screen and the reflected portion of the screen, jiggle it around and watch what happens? I'll do that.
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