M.A.S.S., an Artificially Intelligent installation

single-channel video, custom software, motion sensors, audio, variable dimensions.

Co-created with Julio Soto. Funded by EMARE with support from Impakt Works, Utrecht, NL.

Overview

MASS is an artificially intelligent art installation exploring group behavior and dynamics based on the interactions between humans and a community of computer generated, artificially intelligent avatars.

Inside of a cocoon-like structure, visitors encounter the avatar community by approaching a large-screen video projection. The visitors' movements & voices are captured, interpreted by the AI system, & returned as action in the individual avatars; each reacts to the human encounter & evolve based on their unique behavioral predispositions.

"MASS does not attempt to merge the virtual and the physical, but to exploit the division through confrontation; reminding us that while we may connect to this other world it is at best only a mirror to ourselves, revealed through the expression of our most elementary emotions and instincts."

Designing the avatar world

A variety of documents were created to describe both the logic of the M.A.S.S. world and the behavioral attributes of its inhabitants. Descriptions of sensor data interpretations affected the avatar's behavioral predispositions, atmospheric conditions, & audio.

Installation design

Several physical installations were explored; the final design is a cocoon-like form which encourages participants to move toward the large video-projection membrane where interactions occur.