Craig Reynolds’ Artist Response

I have always had a fascination with the migration of birds, specifically the formations created by geese. The patterns which the geese create are actually rooted in complex mathematical algorisms. Contemporary artist Craig Reyolds explores these patterns in his work. Boids, created in 1986, was a computer program which unitized the mathematical algorisms of birds to create patterns.

Reyolds breaks down these mathematical algorisms into three categories, including separation, alignment, and cohesion. Separation is designed to maintain order within the creature’s patterns so they do not collide. Much like birds, alignment creates direction for the creatures to fly towards, creating a sense of directive movement. Cohesion draws from the flock patterns of birds, dictating the creatures move to the position most populated. Due to these patterns being drawn from the complex algorisms of nature, the creatures act in a creative manner developed over thousands of years of evolution.

The algorisms which Rayolds created for his art have been appropriated by many workers within the creative industry. The formula was built upon to replace the creatures with complex forms. This can been seen in films such as The Lord of the Rings. Although all the characters work in sync and are dependent on each other, they all present as individuals to the viewer.

“Each boid needs to consider each other boid, if only to determine if it is not a nearby flockmate,” this is what makes this program so fascinating. Even though the creatures have no defined artificial intelligence or any other form of intelligence, they still present some form of understanding their surroundings. This recalls upon patterns humans create while travelling best represented during rush hour. There seems to be a social code directing people so they all walk in the same direction, a person walking counter to others will feel out of place.

Using these algorisms an artist can create New Media artwork. Boids can be inspired to create static and interactive work.

One response to “Craig Reynolds’ Artist Response

  1. Pingback: Craig Reynolds’ Artist Response | Karen's Blog

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