working artists


Mark Downie

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artist statement | technical statement | process

artist statement

This work shows three pieces from an investigation into "intelligent form". For a number of years now I have been looking at the problem of creating autonomous virtual creatures that interact, move and learn in real-time. Central to these problems are a number of conceptual difficulties in how such simple artificial intelligences represent their "bodies" and the movements that they can perform. This work takes investigations on body representations far away from typical computer graphics techniques, and very different from the now traditional and reassuringly familiar representations of triangles, meshes, skeletons and key-frames.

In this work we use simple forms: square, a single curve and a family of curves. The representations in this work encode learnt knowledge about form against which other forms can be evaluated, animated, perturbed and grown. These knowledge structures are deliberately incomplete, and the potential for mistakes in such representations is clear and important. We are not here concerned with the optimality of a result, or the robustness of an algorithm, but with the expressive power of a process, its mistakes, its adaptations.

The presented artworks collect a number of images from three of these experiments. Each panel explores a representation that connects generation and analysis, and each collection is laid out to suggest its journey or an unfolding process.