light installation, 2016
concept, animation and code: Philipp Artus
In the interactive installation FLORA abstract lines create complex and delicate shapes, which resemble the appearance of plants. The viewer can interactively control the animation with a touchpad, and thus design the emerging patterns.
The animation in FLORA is generated by overlapping sine waves that travel through a string of lines. This wave principle often appears in nature when energy is transmitted through a medium like water, air or simply a rope. It can also be observed in the locomotion of animals and human-beings, in which kinetic energy is transmitted successively through joints.
The FLORA algorithm of is based on the discovery that a simple system of rotating lines can create endless variations of abstract shapes – ranging from curved harmonious lines to edgy and chaotic patterns. The resulting aesthetics combine computational accuracy with an organic playfulness, and tend to trigger diverse associations in the mind of the viewer.
Each individual has a unique approach to control the shapes. Some are very tentative, others are reckless and wild, and others again are very analytical and try to understand each parameter. Furthermore, the aesthetic preferences for the shapes vary: some prefer curved harmonic shapes while others prefer edgy abstract patterns. FLORA is like a visual instrument that mirrors the personality of the player. It is an open artwork that generates creativity.
Contemplating the motion of my cat’s tale was the initial inspiration for the project. It made me realize that a simple chain of rotating joints can create a fascinating and elegant motion. Studying character animation and Newton's laws of motion was also an important influence. Furthermore I got inspired by artists who explore the relationship between science and nature like Paul Klee, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Karl Blossfeldt.