Connections is a generative audiovisual work developed in the Impromptu environment and exhibited as part of the [d]Generate exhibition of digital generative art at the Gympie Regional Gallery, Queensland, Australia, from June – August 2013. The work explores the matrix of sequential and simultaneous links that make up our lived experience. The work represents this matrix in music and visualizations. The work relies on the use of generative rules that are inspired by Gestalt psychological principles. These principles outline ways in which people seek completeness or wholeness, even when exposed to the incomplete or segmented. In sound and vision these manifest themselves as perceiving musical parts by making connections between discrete sound events or seeing disrupted line segments as a continuous trajectory. Connections exploits Gestalt principles of similarity, proximity, good continuation and closure to create generative processes that take otherwise random computational processes and produce musical patterns and structures. The patterns and structures evolve continuously in the work which generates its material in real time. A lattice of independent generative nodes, each with a specifically tuned version of the general process, allows for complementary parallelism, variation and large-scale structure. Generative visualizations of these musical structures are displayed to reinforce the note-by-note and nodal connections.
At a metaphorical level the Gestalt perspective of drawing meaning from patterns our continuously varying experience reminds us of our own sense making. We draw connections between the events in our lives. We see patterns in their temporal organization and may wonder if similar generative principles are at work in arranging these or if it is only our appreciation of them through the lens of perception that brings order out of chaos. To what extent are connections generated or appreciated? Hopefully, the aesthetic appreciation of patterns is immune to a definitive answer to this question, and the work Connections seeks to play with the notion that psychological principles can underscore both production and reception.
Connections was developed in the Impromptu live coding language.