Bill Vorn’s Evil/Live


I love to write about art installations that involve music and light together.  I am a composer/musician/sound designer as much as I am a lighting designer (although being a lighting designer often doesn’t allow for playing much music sometimes), and two things in life that go together so wonderfully are music and light.

I give you Bill Vorn’s “Evil/Live:

Evil/Live is an installation comprised of a 16-bit matrix of halogen lamps (16 X 16, 256 lamps total) that each have a speaker behind the lamp, and a speaker behind the viewer.  Do you remember the algorithm from the 1960’s called The Game of Life? John Conway?  Evil/Live is modeled kind of after that.  Here’s a flash version of the original-esque.

Here’s a bit on Vorn’s piece, from his website on the project:

EVIL/LIVE 3 is an expanded version of a previous work created in 1997. EVIL/LIVE is an interactive sound and light installation based on a classical example of self-organization and Artificial Life. It is inspired by “The Game of Life”, a cellular automaton created by John Conway in the late 60’s.

EVIL/LIVE’s automaton is modeled as a 2D grid of cells (represented by light bulbs) where each cell has one of two possible states: alive or dead (on or off). The rules are based on proximity as each cell has eight neighbors: left, right, above, below, and on four corners. For each generation, a cell sets its state anew according to the following set of rules:
1- A dead cell becomes alive if it has exactly 3 live neighbors.
2- A live cell stays alive only if it has either 2 or 3 live neighbors.

EVIL/LIVE 3 aims to create a paradoxal context confronting the single-plane world of a cellular automaton to the 3-dimensional immersive environment surrounding the viewer. By using fast stroboscopic changes in light and quadraphonic sound effects, it creates an illusion of physical volume.

This is a beautiful project – if you’re at the Electrohype Festival in Malmo, Sweden you have to check this out.  Bill has quicktime video on his website, here – check that out as well, at the bottom of the page.

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