liquid space 02: NAN _Not A Number
authors: fuzzylogic [ b ] ___ Jerry Galle, Kathleen de Bodt LAb[au]


Numbers can't fully represent reality because of their accuracy; consequently they can't reproduce the level of randomness (production of variation) which takes place in nature or in astrophysics for instance. This fact has a major impact on the usage of digital loops in programming which leads in many cases to unwarranted repetition.

In chaos theory certain equations known as attractors are alternative systems which provide less predictable results. An attractor is characterized by a set of coupled nonlinear differential equations, a 'set', 'curve', or 'space' that a system irreversibly evolves to, if left undisturbed. The so-called "strange attractor" is a non-periodic attractor, yet its chaotic processes are not random; they follow rules which can be expressed as a series of equations. Under certain conditions, the motion of an object described by such a system will neither converge to a steady state nor diverge to infinity, but will stay in a bounded but chaotically defined region. It creates patterns in Chaos, a kind of dynamic equilibrium inside a chaotic system.

The object appears to move randomly, and yet obeys a deeper order, since it never leaves the attractor. In this manner an attractor describes a region in the phase space of the solution to certain systems of non-linear differential equations. It is an example of deterministic chaos which like complex (natural) systems runs through some kind of cycle and where no exact duplication or repetition is going on, but a search for equilibrium or harmonics. The NAN project is based on these self similar, recursive equations repeated on top of each other over and over again.

By plotting the differential equations the coded attractors (i.e. Lorenz, Duffing, Chua and Rössler) produce visual three-dimensional scapes because of their self similarity in time and space; they are graphical representation of time variation. Attaching sound samples to the replicating nodes and minor random variations on the rhythm leads to a harmonic evolution of sound in space-time, a continuous stream of music without actually looping. The fact that NAN could keep on going for days, months, years... without actually repeating was an appealing idea. So not a loop but NAN *.

* The title of the work NAN, Not A Number, comes from the debugging software, where at some point the game engine fails to manage the amount of data (chaos), which results in this error message. NAN

Used attractors:
1_ Lorenz attractor
2_ Rössler attractor
3_ Duffing attractor
4_ Chua attractor
5_ Circular limit

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