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Putting The Pieces Back Together Again – The order of chaos

Created by Ralf Baecker, Putting The Pieces Back Together Again is an artistic investigation and meditation about complex systems and scientific methodology. Consisting of 1250 stepper motors arranged in a two dimensional grid, each motor in the installation moves in a random direction, sometimes intersecting and reversing direction, producing emergent constellations and behaviours.

Each motors is equipped with a pointer made from white acrylic glass. The radii of the pointers are chosen to intersect with the pointers of its neighbours. Each motors is driven with the same alternating current, that let them move initially in a random direction. In the event of a collision the pointers revese their turning direction. Through this interplay of many entities a complex behaviour emerges on the surface of the machine. By manipulating the driver frequency during runtime the behaviour of the whole system will change to create a kind settlement (pattern’s are forming on the surface of the machine) by negotiating is position with its nearby actors.

The installation drifts through various activation levels during it runtime by this it constantly evolves new formations and constellations (crystallization). After the crystallization process has setteled, the system is reactivated by feeding the system with high energy pulses (mixing). After all actors are moving again a new crystallization process is initiated. The installation constantly loops through these two processes: mixing and crystallization.

Created with black aluminium profiles, 1250 stepper motors, custom circuit boards (40x40cm), custom motor drivers, acrylic glass, power supplies, ethernet hub, raspberry pi and cables.

Project PageRalf Baecker

Produced with support of the City of Kirchheim unter Teck, Verlag des Teckboten and Kulturregion Stuttgart. Production Assistans: Mariana Schetini Basso and Irena Kukric, with special thanks to Katharina Sophia Hardt (Stadt Kirchheim unter Teck / Kultur Abteilung).

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