At the Edge of Chaos


An interactive robotic art installation by
Bill Vorn & LP Demers
Montréal (Québec) Canada
© 1995

Produced with the help of
Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec



AT THE EDGE OF CHAOS is a subset of a wider study on robotic genderization through metaphoric animal-like behavior. In the present case, four machines seem to fight for a piece of meat or dead animal: they are bulky and noisy scavengers. The piece of meat is a steel cube simultaneously pushed back and forth by four pneumatic actuators where the friction of the cube against the floor generates a high repetitive pitch.
The machines are sinked into a trap in the middle of the space. Viewers can walk above the trap since a grid covers the opening and enables the audience to see through, beneath their feet. The robots behavior is altered by the viewer's presence and sometimes totally independent and autonomous.

Hanging from the ceiling and spreaded evenly around the trap, eight infrared sensors track the audience and trigger sound and light effects. Each sensor is associated to a speaker and a light source, giving a coherent unit which helps interaction perception and understanding (stimulus-response reactivity).

The piece is based on a continuous loop of 10 minutes. However, each loop becomes unique through the various and unpredicted stimuli from the environment and through the artificial behaviors embedded in the program. These cycles are then always different though based on a common workframe.







• Images du Futur
(Montréal, Canada)
From May 18 to October 15, 1995





• Prix Ars Electronica 96
ORF - Ars Electronica
(Linz, Austria)
September 5, 1996
- Distinction Award
, Interactive Art category






High Resolution Pictures

•, 2.4 MB, TIFF format, 300 dpi, 1561 x 1081
•, 2.5 MB, TIFF format, 300 dpi, 1577 x 1105

YouTube Video

At the Edge of Chaos


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