Geoffrey DRAKE-BROCKMAN, Readwrite (2014). Perth (Australia)
Readwrite is installed on the NEXTDC Data Centre in Malaga, Perth, Western Australia. It is 10m long and features a grid of 24 pneumatically-actuated 1.4m wide diamond-shaped flipping elements.
Dance sequences on Readwrite are triggered by charged "Muon" particles. Muons are terrestrial Cosmic Rays generated in the upper atmosphere by interactions with high-energy particles from distant supernovae and black holes in active galactic nuclei. Readwrite has four Muon detectors, mounted at its corners. When a Cosmic Ray hits a detector, a wave motion sequence begins from that point. Other choreographed behaviours occur depending on the frequency and spatial distribution of the Muon flux. Readwrite only reacts to the rarest incoming Muons - those that are travelling parallel to the Earth's surface.
Readwrite was installed in January 2014 and has been in near-constant motion since. It may be the largest terrestrial automata activated by stimuli of extra-galactic origin.
The Readwrite control algorithm is a modified version of the code from Geoffrey Drake-Brockman's earlier work Floribots, and thus retains elements of the emotional modes of that work (bored, excited, etc.) - which were originally modelled on the behaviour of the Artist's sons at toddler age.
Readwrite is the latest in a series of robotic works by Drake-Brockman that explore the potential for emergence in relationships with machines. The Artist notes that his background in Computer Science informs his project to create automata, which he explains further in his 2013 TEDx talk, for details see www.drake-brockman.com.au
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