Alisa Andrasek

This research used stigmergy behaviour, another example of agency-based systems, which could be programmed to be highly adaptive to local data. What is most intriguing and attractive in this case, is contrasting organic aesthetics emerging from algorithms like stigmergy, with its plant like formations, and the hyper-rationalisation and genericity of voxelised geometry. Different resolutions were introduced in the facade panels, by using an octree algorithm. The result is a building skin that from afar looks like a plant, but in close up has almost Minecraft-like aesthetics coming from a multi-resolution voxel field. Organic stigmergy (stígma + ergon) partly plays a role in the distribution of data through the facade field, rather than generating geometry. It leaves its imprint in the density of geometry

Gramazio Kohler Research

Up Sticks
‘Up-Sticks’ is an informal turn of phrase dating back to at least the 19th Century to express leaving your home in haste. It is thought to originate from the rough cut, unseasoned timber frame architecture of the Scottish croft designed for temporary occupation. These sticks from which the croft was partly fabricated were of great value and were taken and reused when the household moved on. Up-Sticks is an expressive timber structure that twists and curves using only spruce wood planks and beech wood dowels. No glue or nails were used to hold the planks in space; it is the hygroscopic behaviour of the dowels, which shrink and swell according to their moisture content, and their computationally defined position that lock all planks into position. Up-Sticks was assembled from large elements all prefabricated in the Robotic Fabrication Laboratory at ETH Zurich, the largest of its kind in the world.

Liam Young

In the robot skies
In the Robot Skies is the world’s first narrative shot entirely through autonomous drones. In collaboration with the Embedded and Artificially intelligent Vision Lab in Belgium the film has evolved in the context of their experiments with specially developed camera drones each programmed with their own cinematic rules and behaviours. The film explores the drone as a cultural object, not just as a new instrument of visual story telling but also as the catalyst for a new collection of urban sub cultures. In the way the New York subway car of the 80’s gave birth to a youth culture of wild style graffiti and hip hop the age of ubiquitous drones as smart city infrastructure will create a new network of surveillance activists and drone hackers. From the eyes of the drones we see two teenagers each held by police order within the digital confines of their own council estate tower block in London. A network of drones survey the council estates, as a roving flock off cctv cameras and our two characters are kept apart by this autonomous aerial infrastructure.

Kohei Nawa

“Biomatrix” is an installation of endles scycles of eruptive cell bubbles emerging on the surface of liquid silicone oil. This circulation of the colored liquid evokes the behaviour of magma or blood, and due to the high viscosity of silicon oil, illustrates the movement of the material at a speed deceptively slower than the viewer’s expectation. The electrically controlled pool becomes an interface that amplifies visual impact, and infinitely produces cell patterns. An orderly grid formation appears as a digital matrix, while closer observation reveals irregularities such as sporadic and simultaneous effervescence and plosive sounds breaking the surface tension.

Chris Salter

n-Polytope: Behaviors in Light and Sound after Iannis Xenakis
N_Polytope: Behaviors in Light and Sound After Iannis Xenakis is a spectacular light and sound performance-installation combining cutting edge lighting, lasers, sound, sensing and machine learning software inspired by composer Iannis Xenakiss radical 1960s- 1970s works named Polytopes (from the Greek ‘poly’, many and ‘topos’, space). As large scale, immersive architectural environments that made the indeterminate and chaotic patterns and behaviour of natural phenomena experiential through the temporal dynamics of light and the spatial dynamics of sound, the Polytopes still to this day are relatively unknown but were far ahead of their time. N_Polytope is based on the attempt to both re-imagine Xenakis’ work with probabilistic/stochastic systems with new techniques as well as to explore how these techniques can exemplify our own historical moment of extreme instability.

Ralf Baecker

Interface I investigates the boundary between two interacting systems rendered into the physical. Each system is a compound of motors, strings and elastic bands arranged horizontally. The two units face each other vertically (one on the top, one on the bottom). Each motor of one level (top, bottom) is connected to its opponent with a string, meeting in the center. Both motors pull their string in the opposite direction (like in a tug of war). At the junction of the strings, a mesh of elastic bands connects the string to its neighbours. The mesh couples each element to its surrounding elements in order to achieve a local emergent behaviour.

A synthetic ghost shifts simulated textiles from passive matter to live organisms. They behave like apparitions in an artificial choreography, with movements that are imaginary yet familiar. Like a constant metamorphosis, the same sequence gets transformed over and over again. At each step, all aspects of the designs are modified, from algorithmic pattern to color scheme to fabric behaviour. The results are meandering layers of style changes. A linear montage shows the intricate details. Shuffled layers of metronomic sounds emphasize the transformation fluctuating in and out of sync.


Density Compression
With Density Compression [2020], Fujimoto turns his attention towards fundamental behaviours of visible light, focusing on straight lines and reflection. By representing light as a dense network of lines travelling in limited space, the artist renders light as a physical object, allowing him to explore and ultimately change its basic behaviour. The piece is accompanied by an atmospheric score from experimental composer and Raster-Noton affiliate Kyoka.

Ryoji Ikeda

이케다 료지

superposition is a project about the way we understand the reality of nature on an atomic scale and is inspired by the mathematical notions of quantum mechanics. Performers will appear in his piece for the first time, performing as operator/conductor/observer/examiners. All the components on stage will be in a state of superposition; sound, visuals, physical phenomena, mathematical concepts, human behaviour and randomness – these will be constantly orchestrated and de-orchestrated simultaneously in a single performance piece.

Ian Cheng


Cheng’s work explores mutation, the history of human consciousness and our capacity as a species to relate to change. Drawing on principles of video game design, improvisation and cognitive science, Cheng develops live simulations – virtual ecosystems of infinite duration, populated with agents who are programmed with behavioural drives but left to self-evolve without authorial intent, following the unforgiving causality found in nature.

Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Daniel Widrig

Tower Study
Daniel Widrig’s studio now works in a broad range of fields including sculpture, fashion, furniture design and architecture. Embracing digital systems since its early days, the studio holds a unique position in the field and is widely considered to be in the vanguard of digital art and design.The Tower Studies examine this same material behaviour on an architectural scale, further blurring the distinction found on a small scale between structure and ornament.

Martin Hesselmeier and Andreas Muxel

The weight of light
Light, as we usually interpret it, is an element without mass and gravity. For “the weight of light” a physics engine simulates the kinetic forces of a moving object. This mass is projected on a wave shaped structure in virtual space. The moving object is represented as a light particle in physical space. Gravity, mass, density and friction affect velocity and acceleration of these light particles. As the particles movement is based on a simulation, it does not have to adhere to the physical realities we know from everyday life. Therefore the installation goes beyond expected behaviour. Thus the matter of light traverses a reinterpretation of our known reality.

bernd hopfengaertner

Facial micro expressions last less than a second and are almost impossible to control. They are hard wired to the emotional activity in the brain which can be easily captured using specially developed technological devices. Free will is now in question as the science exposes decision-making as an emotional process rather than a rational one. This ability to read emotions technologically result in a society obsessed with their emotional reactions. Emotions, convictions and beliefs which usually remain hidden, now become a public matter. “Belief systems” is a video scenario about a society that responds to the challenges of modern neuroscience by embracing these technological possibilities to read, evaluate and alter peoples behaviours and emotions.

lucy mcrae

compression cradle
Lucy McRae is a visionary artist from Australia that has periodically had films in ASVOFF. Compression Cradle is a futuristic approach to preparing the self for a future that assumes a lack of human touch and the machine affectionately squeezes the body with a sequence of aerated volumes that hold you tight. As McRae envisions it the mechanical touch may be an antidote for today’s ‘forever connectedness’, a behaviour that’s triggered a lonely disconnection with ourselves.

Maxim Zhestkov

Elements is an experimental art film by Maxim Zhestkov about nature, physics, art and love. More than 2 billion elements / particles governed by tensions and forces of nature were used to tell stories and show emotions through the motion of collective behavior.
The film is a trial to explore the idea that everything around us and inside us is made from simple elements / blocks which can be arranged in complex relationships and become compound structures. We could project this idea into emotions, behaviours, thought processes, relationships, life, planets and the universe.



Design Research Laboratory (AADRL) and the experimental design studio Minimaforms examining a behavior-based agenda that engages experimental forms of material and social interaction. Cybernetic and systemic thinking through seminal forms of prototyping and experimentation will situate the work through continued experiments that have manifested since the early 1950s as maverick machines, architectures and computational practices exploring the generative potential of self-regulating phenomena as proto-architectural environments. Through explicit models of interactions, observable patterns and proto-animalistic agency; the research will discuss the capacity of these systems to evolve, adapt and self-structure through computation.


towering shower

Random create artworks and installations that explore behaviour and interaction, often using light and movement. Founded in 2005 by Stuart Wood, Florian Ortkrass and Hannes Koch, the studio utilises raw fragments of artificial intelligence to encourage relationships between the converging worlds of animate and inanimate.



Flicker is an immersive electronic environment of generative image and sound. A collaborative work with Oliver Bown. Based on biological models of firefly behaviour, Flicker generates an ever shifting rhythmic, meditative environment to the viewer. Flicker uses 4 channels of synchronised high definition video and 8 channels of sound to immerse the viewer in a phenomenologically rich environment of artificial life. The work is a large-scale agent-based simulation, with each agent providing a rhythmic pulse at regular intervals. Agents try to synchronise their pulse with other agents in their immediate neighbourhood. The collective pulsations of groups of local agents are spatially sonified with int exhibition space. Over time, large groups synchronise at different rates, leading to complex visual and aural structures, syncopating and constant shifting in to a long term complexity.