Interactive Art

Ideogenetic Machine

Price: Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

Nova Jiang (NZ)


Cyberarts 2012 - International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica 2012

Ideogenetic Machine is an interactive installation that incorporates portraits of participants into an algorithmically generated comic book. A camera captures the portrait live while an algorithm transforms the photographic image into a “line drawing”. Face recognition is used to insert code-generated blank speech bubbles into the narrative.

The software creates never-repeating compositions using a set of rules that approximate the compositional decisions made by a human comic-book author. The comic is projected live and consists of the algorithmically processed portraits as well as randomly chosen story elements from a database of drawings. The story elements are drawn by the artist, mostly illustrating speculative narratives based on current news and events. A participant can e-mail him or herself the finished comic as a PDF file. Participants are free to fill the blank speech bubbles with their own invented dialog at home.  Inspired by experimental narrative forms that use chance to aid the process of composition, such as the cut-up technique and Soviet montage theory, the project aims to generate unexpected narrative possibilities through the juxtaposition of different images and unpredictable actions by the audience. In this project, computer code enables endless collaboration between the artist, the audience and the operation of chance. 

The success of Ideogenetic Machine is dependent upon the creative contribution of the audience. They are encouraged to perform in front of the camera as well as completing the narrative by filling out the blank speech bubbles.

Artist: Nova Jiang (NZ)
Technical collaborator: Jake Jefferies
Special Thanks to
Sephiroth Li
Matt Conlen
Patrick Lydon
Julia Lintern
Ireti Olowe
Michelle Calabro
Ida C. Benedetto
Made with the support of Eyebeam Art and Technology Center.