Distributive intelligence | A group mind

generative robotic light installation, 2021

Distributive intelligence | A group mind is an immersive, kinetic light installation. It consists of a cluster of mechanical and interactive objects, which collectively and without central control unfold emergent behavior. The installation embodies digital representations of complex systems (cellular automata) through hundreds of these objects and their light communication. Such models, crucial to the understanding of the interaction of large groups of individuals, are here materialized by electronic devices and their real-life fuzziness, creating a lifelike but artificial environment.

The objects form a synthetic, pseudo-societal space of interaction: a dance floor for robotic objects, a collective artificial intelligence, simultaneously a unified body and a congregation of individuals. The work is establishing a self-organizing system, reflecting different forms of collaboration and social interaction.

A major inspiration of the work is the fragile state of organic behavior in complex systems: the rare moment of lifelike organization between the utter chaos of entropy and the total stagnation of solid arrangements. The installation mimics these delicate conditions by the means of a highly sensitive and reactive environment that tries to keep itself in balance.

Direct interaction with such a simulation of a multitude of hundreds of interacting individual elements challenges our ability to grasp complex entanglement. Through this detailed manifestation, insights concerning the complex system of our society become evident, particularly with regard to the various systemic crises we face.

« It matters what matters we use to think other matters with; it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what knots knot knots, what thoughts think thoughts, what descriptions describe descriptions, what ties tie ties. It matters what stories make worlds, what worlds make stories. » Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene

05.2023   ISEA2023 (International Symposium on Electronic Art) – Paris / laureate, online & showcase
02.2023   SerendiCity – Westkowloon Cultural District – Hong Kong
10.2022   Criatech – Aveiro (PT)
05.2022 ADAF   (Athens Digital Arts Festival) – Athens (GR)
07.2021   Kunstraum Walcheturm – Zürich (CH)

_Project credits
<> Concept, design, programming: Lukas Truniger
<> Production support: Bipolar
<> Scientific mentor: Jean-Paul Delahaye
<> Production expertise & tool conception: Christophe Gregório
<> Design advice: Dominique Noli
<> Production assistant: Chloé Taverregniet

+ Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council
+ DICRéAM – Centre National du Cinéma (CNC)
+ Région Haut-de-France
+ La Folie Numerique
+ Villettemakerz

SerendiCity – West Kowloon Cultural District – Hong Kong – © Lukas Truniger
ADAF (Athens Digital Arts Festival) 2022 – © Lukas Truniger
Criatech 2022, Aveiro (PT) – © Lukas Truniger
Walcheturm, Zürich (CH) – © Lukas Truniger