ANT SERIES – this series comprises two groups of work, The Ant Hill series and the The Langton’s Ant series. Both were shown in the First Central Ceramics Biannual, Henan Museum, China. For this exhibition in China I was interested to do a work around swarm behaviour and emergent properties. The forms of both groups of work are computer generated.
For the Ant Hills I made use of the Perlin noise function or algorithm. As in ant colonies there is randomness to individual’s activities but this is affected by what has gone before so there is a gradient to the randomness. My interest here is in how group dynamics affect one another and how a common form or result emerges. These works are unglazed and the colouration is due to mixing the clay types in the printing process.
The second series is based on Mr Langton’s game of chance. Langton was a theoretician who looked at chance and emergent behaviour. Langton’s Ant is based on the principal that an ant moves forward a square, if the new square is black the ant turns right and the square turn white, and if the square is white the ant turns left and the square becomes black. So a random pattern is produced. Normally this is a two dimensional experiment into emergent behaviour but I have coded the pattern into three dimensions. If a square is returned to the form grows higher and interestingly Langton’s ant produces ant hills. So the resultant forms have nothing to do with actual ants but Mr Langton’s theory produces ant hill like forms.