true/false

onformative

Germany
Artificial Intelligence Award for Digital Art, sponsored by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

true/false is a kinetic sculpture composed of arrays of circular black metal segments set in mechanical columns. Interlocking and rotating around fluorescent light tubes, the cylinders cover or expose the light to display an endless number of patterns. The transformation of the sculpture is based on the shifting elements and their correlation to each other. As the segments do not move independently, for any of the cylinders on a column to change, the segments affected must work in unison to achieve the command. true/false is a machine that constantly generates instructions to reveal images and assigned patterns according to its algorithm. It visualizes the computational process and exposes the implementation of these commands. As the piece transforms into the assigned motif, it completes the procedure and continues on to the next task. It is a veritable machine at work as it executes instructions and makes the algorithm and transformation between the images visible. Akin to the mythology of Sisyphus, this labour is perpetual and never-ending. Reminiscent of devices originally used for calculations, such as Turing machines, the sound originates from the mechanical movement of the moving parts thus making the algorithm audible. The rhythm of true/false is captivating as variations in the visual choreography result in distinctive changes in its soundscape. Through the generation of algorithmic patterns and the repetition of endless tasks, true/false transforms itself into something more than the sum of its elements to reveal the beauty hidden within a basic algorithm.

true/false runs autonomously and does not require any external hardware to run the installation. A web interface is available but not needed to operate the machine. The installation requires a wifi hotspot but if one is not available, the sculpture creates a hotspot by itself. The sculpture consists of 24 columns in an aluminum frame with 25 rotating segments on each column. The columns in the frame are made of fluorescent light tubes set inside of acrylic tubes. The acrylic tubes each have 25 teflon rings fixed onto them. A custom cnc-milled cylinder rests on each of the rings. These are the individual elements which rotate and partly obstruct or reveal the tube's light by being half open or half closed. The mechanisms work by two small sections on either side of the cylinders, both on the top and bottom sides. When the bottom cylinder is rotated by means of a stepper motor, it latches onto the elements that sit above it one by one. In this way, the unique position of each element can be controlled. One stepper motor controls each column. The motors are at the base of each column on the back of the sculpture and connect to the column with a belt and gear. The bottom segment's position is controlled via a hall-effect sensor that allows it to track its position.

true/false - kinetic light installation