“Sustainable: a generative, robotic installation” by Birchfield, Lorig and Phillips

  • ©David Birchfield, David Lorig, and Kelly Phillips


Entry Number: 21


    Sustainable: a generative, robotic installation


Project Affiliation:

    Arizona State University


    Sustainable, is a dynamic, autonomous, robotic installation that is comprised of a network of seven independent water gongs that communicate through water tubes that link adjacent nodes (see Fig. 1). The network models a water resource allocation algorithm that yields a perpetual evolution of the sonic, visual, and timbral elements. Each gong node functions independently and autonomously and is functionally equivalent, but through their simple networked interactions, the system exhibits dynamic, emergent behaviors that yield local and large scale forms in sound and light.

    A water gong is a musical gong that is dipped into a tank of water. As the gong is partially submersed, the water alters the resonant properties of the metal such that the sounding frequency of the gong descends as it is immersed below the water’s surface.


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