MaxMSP, openFrameworks
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MULTIVERSE – The eternal birth and death of infinite parallel universes

During the last century, several hypotheses have been formulated involving the nature of our universe. Some theories lead to presume the existence of a multiverse: a system composed of an infinite number of universes that coexist simultaneously outside of our space-time. “Multiverse” is the new audio-visual installation by fuse* that draws inspiration from these concepts and, through the creation of a sequence of digital paintings, generated in real-time, attempts to represent the eternal birth and death of infinite parallel universes. It consists of a vertical projection of 7.5 meters high and two large mirroring surfaces that generate an infinite reflection of the image towards the sky and the center of the earth.

The multiverse theory by Lee Smolin, an American theoretical physicist, has inspired the group to create a scientifically coherent narrative context. According to this theory, our universe is only one in a much larger cosmos (the Multiverse), a member of a growing community of universes, each one being born from the collapse following the formation of a black hole. This process leads to a revolutionary image of a Multiverse where universes with more black holes have more descendants. Smolin concludes that because of this “Cosmological Natural Selection” our universe is in this particular configuration and was born following precisely this mechanism; the existence of the earth and of ourselves, therefore, is partly causal, but at the same time the result of an infinite evolution of other universes. Hospitality to life in our universe is seen as a consequence of a self-organized process.

In Multiverse, the role of “creator” belongs to the software, an application developed in openFrameworks that manages the generation of the various scenes that are displayed and that interacts with Ableton Live and Max/MSP for the production of the soundtrack through a generative sound system. Each digital picture represents a stage in the evolutionary path of a multiverse which evolves through a series of key passages theorized by Smolin – in particular, the assumption that the gravitational collapse of matter does not end in a singularity of a black hole but that it gives life to a so-called child-universe. While the physical laws of simulation remain the same every time these events occur, there are small random changes of the values ​​of the parameters of physical laws during the bounce leading to the origin of a new universe that has slight differences in its fundamental properties. The particle simulations displayed are born through the creation of an ad-hoc simulated environment. The strategy involved the massive use of shader programs that maximize the hardware performance and optimize the graphics pipeline on the GPU. Each scene, however, does not repeat itself in the same form: after thirty minutes the previous sequence of steps carrying the genetic information of the last passage triggers an evolutionary transition and the exploration of new possibilities through the modification of the so-called fundamental parameters. The generative nature of the system allows the creation of infinite variations that cyclically follow one another during the life of the artwork.

This site-specific installation has been staged for the first time in Borgo delle Colonne 28, a deconsecrated church in the historic center of Parma. BDC28 is the Borgo delle Colonne headquarter, a center dedicated to contemporary art founded by Lucia Bonanni and Mauro Del Rio that played a significant role in the project by co-producing the installation.

Project Page | fuse*

Credits: fuse*, BDC – Bonanni Del Rio Catalog (Production), Mattia Carretti, Luca Camellini (Art Direction, Executive Production), Mattia Carretti, Luca Camellini, Samuel Pietri, Riccardo Bazzoni (Concept), Luca Camellini, Samuel Pietri (Software Artists), Riccardo Bazzoni (Sound Design), Matteo Mestucci (Hardware Engineering), Fiera Srl (Setting), Matteo Torsani (Video Report) and Emmanuele Coltellacci (Photo Report).

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