Pixflow #1

PixFlow # 1, Grand Casino

Pixflow #1 is a generative artwork in form of a 13m long permanent installation displayed in the restaurant of the Grand Casino Brussels

Project data:

year of conception: 2006
Total length of the installation
= 11plasma screens: 13m
Resolution by screen: 1360 x 768
Total screen space: 14960 x 768
Total amount of particles: 16500
Speed of particles: 5pixel / frame

Commissioner: Casino Austria
Architect of the Casino: BOA

Pixflow #1 is a generative artwork in the form of a 13m long installation displayed in the restaurant of the Grand Casino Brussels. The generative artwork is based on a vector field determining the path of particles, in the form of pixels, shaping into flows as their density evolves. From the mutual influence between the vectors and the particles, changing their orientations as they meet, emerges an unsuspected behaviour of particles shaping vertexes and turbulences. The derivation angles are calculated by two different number sets, integers (vectors) and floating numbers (particles), producing at system ponderation rounding errors. The real-time process exploits this error resulting in an organic, non-deterministic behaviour which is that of evolving and never-repeating flows of pixels.

The generative art work was conceived as a fixed installation for the Brussels Grand Casino restaurant where it has been running since spring 2006. It forms part of a generative art collection, LAb[au] has put together for the Casino including works by: Marius Watz, Golan Levin, Karsten Schmidt, Elout de Kok and Dextro.

The 11 plasma screens form a 13m long continuous frieze at the back-wall of the open mezzanine space. Each screen is linked to a computer and the networked synchronization of the real-time process forms a seamless render plane having a native pixel resolution of 14960 x 768.

At system initialisation 1500 pixels are set in random position on each computer, a moment from which they start to evolve over the entire screen space following the above-mentioned rules. The resulting flows shape various densities which profit from the installation's size and evoke the eye of the viewer to wander over the screen space. Here the pixel-perfect rendering creates a contrast in between the micro scale of the pixel to the macro scale of the shapes the 16500 pixels produce, attracting the eye as much at close range as from distance.

The integration of the artwork into the architecture is achieved by covering the wall with red backlit glass panels having the same colour as the background of the screens. This seamless integration sets the visitor in the ambiance of the installation's coloured light and in the rhythm of its flows.

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