The project called RingMind (born from discussions we had with Sociologist Bronislaw Szerszynski ) was an art-science collaboration between the collective and academics from astrophysics, computer science, humanities and social sciences.

RingMind took as its focus the self-organising powers of planetary rings (such as those around Saturn) as researched by astrophysicists. The project endeavoured to find ways to present these physics dynamics, visually and sonically, for diverse audiences, and using this to creatively stretch people’s ideas about the nature of consciousness and intelligence.

Our performance at Das Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin was a debut for the Ringmind audio/visual experience which attempted to address the “Life Forms” conference theme. We also presented at FON in the UK a second version which was more speculative in both sound and visual identity.

They were unique performances as the visuals and audio were live-coded and performed realtime using Processing and Supercollider.

We worked closely with our small team of physicists to generate engaging animated graphics and data sonification/sound design. We employed various synthesis and spatial diffusion methods to realise the “sound” of planetary rings and moon systems that were displayed across an array consisting of 44 loudspeakers. Using a number of speculative assumptions we created the planetary ring systems using real modelled physics but used creative interpretation of the landscapes and the organic nature of the moons and moon-lets. There was also a text element to the performance narrated by Bronislaw that created a dramaturgy to demonstrate the workings of the RingMind.

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