Reconnoitre

Mesh

Mesh was a sci-art 2000 research and development project dealing with the subject of self-organising networks. Self-organisation is a general model which describes the way in which an organised whole with macroscopic features can arise from local microscopic processes. This theme has been investigated through the creation of self-organising software networks which are interfaced to the data environment of the internet, or a computer hard-disk. The visualised network takes its evolving form from the interaction between the internal organising algorithm of the software and the structure and content of the source data.

The work presents a browsable environment, a network of linked images which grow out of the software's exposure to social and cultural data materials. Applied to a user's hard-disk the software traces personal image strata, which might include application images and icons, the internet cache, and digital photos. The constant acquiring, shuffling, comparing, discarding, of material itself acts as a playful metaphor of the browsing experience.

As a science and art project the work draws from systems theory ideas about the interface between different types of self-organising networks and the nature, and significance of this conceptual model. For example, a biological organism can be viewed as a metabolic self-organising system interfaced to its environment, itself a self-organising system.

2001-2002