Moving Image Award

AfterGlow

boredomresearch

Vicky Isley and Paul Smith

United Kingdom

boredomresearch’s work is informed by principles of scientific modelling, inspired by the mechanisms and behaviours of natural systems. Central to their work is the aesthetic expression of intriguing patterns, motions and forms, expressed in real-time over extended durations, using technologies usually associated with computer games. In boredomresearch’s real-time artwork ‘AfterGlow’, an Animate Projects commission funded by the Wellcome Trust, boredomresearch collaborated with Dr Paddy Brock, a mathematical modeler at the Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, to explore the bounds of current epidemiological practice. This project forms a new expression of a malaria infection transmission scenario, placing the audience in the perspective of the mosquitoes. Locked in perpetual twilight – prime mosquito blood-feeding time – ‘AfterGlow’ presents a terrain progressively illuminated by glowing trails, evocative of mosquito flight paths. These spiralling forms represent packets of blood, carried by mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium knowlesi, a malaria parasite recently found to jump the species barrier from monkey to human. The infection left in the wake of wandering macaques as they search the island for food reveals the intimate relationship between disease and its environment. In ‘AfterGlow’ the spectator is taken on a real-time journey through the eyes of an autonomous camera which traverses the island following the infection scenario; from clustering luminous spiralling cells of colour to black turbulent infectious spirals. Where the infection is most dense, we see a blizzard of disease, vividly expressing the complexity of this dangerous scenario.

Hardware: Mini PC Game system, HD 65” display or projection (size variable), soundbar or amplifier & speakers.

Software: boredomresearch custom built software in Blender Game Engine. Software runs in real-time and includes simulation of infection transmission scenario.