Vishnu's dance of Life and Death (2012)

Generative evolutionary choreography for virtual performers.

Full Description

This work is an automated choreography performed by non-player-characters in a virtual world. Vishnu’s follows a lineage of artworks which draws on Computational Ecosystems (CEs). In this work a CE functions as the main mechanism driving the performers‘ movements and actions on stage. On designing Vishnu’s our motivation was elaborating a celebration/comment on ALife, with a work where an ecosystem provides context and content to the artwork. In the Hindu mythological tradition Vishnu is known as "the Preserver of the universe." Vishnu is the essence of all beings, the force which originates and develops existences, which maintains the universe. ALife is a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence concerned with generating lifelike behaviour. Drawing on the narratives of life part of the ALife framework, this work is a dance performance, where the sequence of movements in the choreography is dictated by an algorithm which simulates a virtual ecosystem (with a population organized in a food chain). In an ironic artistic comment on the rhetoric of life surrounding ALife practice, Vishnu’s role as the creator and destroyer of all existences appears here inscribed in the computational algorithm. In Vishnu’s 3D characters perform a dance on a stage mimicking the evolutionary course of life. The dance appears to be sometimes coordinated while at other times it seems entirely improvised. Performers first appear from the sides of the stage and move towards a more central position, repeatedly executing the same movement. Then the choreography intensifies and the performers play their parts with heterogeneous movements. They abandon the stage at different times, while new dancers join the performance. The sound texture is adapted from the cacophonous overture of Lygetti’s "Le Grand Macabre," a collage of sonorities adequate to what we see on stage. Le Grand Macabre is described as an anti-anti-opera in the sense of being an ironic recognition of both operatic traditions and anti-operatic criticism of the genre. This works as a reference to what we are attempting with the genre of computational ecosystems.

Work metadata

Want to see more?
Take full advantage of the ArtBase by Becoming a Member

This artwork has no comments. You should add one!
Leave a Comment