Distributed Chaos

Emergent Behavior is a property of networked systems where local interactions between agents add up to create interesting global patterns. The Internet, the economy, our social networks, etc. all posses some sort of emergent properties.

This installation, comprised of 40 acrylic beads suspended from 40 motors, embodies such emergence. Each bead represents an autonomous agent, which is free to move up and down. These agents also communicate with each other to determine how far to go. Collectively they behave like ants foraging for food. Some leaders emerge in the pack and others follow. Sensors also detect outside observers and add noise to the system in the same way obstacles would cause ants to find new paths. Due to the distributed nature of the system, behaviors and interactions develop dynamically, generating unique patterns     as the system evolves over time.

This installation was displayed at the Boulder Creative Collective Warehouse as a part of their Spring 2016 Exhibition.