Making art with code: Tweed’s new installation


Created by composer and media artist Kathy McTavish, “Chance” is opening in the Tweed Museum on Oct. 19. It uses code to create images and sounds that give code life.

The exhibit personifies human connection with technology. McTavish composed the music and wrote the code.

“It's a system of its own randomness,” McTavish said. “An organism thinking on its own.”

The paintings that cover the walls were done by McTavish and are meant to show humans’ limitation.

“I am resisting machine,” McTavish said. “I want to exist in the room, there is still an impact of my body on the machine.”

Computers choose from a pool of various shapes, colors and sounds. The combination creates a pleasant randomness and is displayed on several chrome browsers spread across the room.

“This work embeds an infinite series of choreographed transitions,” McTavish said.

The sounds were originally composed by McTavish but the code makes exclusive sounds.

“Choreographed by code, a circle of machine quartets investigate chance, emergence, friction, resonance and change,” McTavish said, “[It is a] cloud orchestration.”

The art inhabits the entire space of the Tweed’s Sax Brothers gallery. The space allows natural light and sound from the outside to add its own randomness. McTavish was inspired by this seeming other, outside world.

“Chance evolved under the skies of great, planetary change and political turmoil,” McTavish said. “There is a machine/human friction present in the installation.”

McTavish’s art is inspired from mathematical representations of ecosystems that she learned about while earning her Master’s degree in math.

“Mathematical models are often used to represent physical system [of] our ideas how the world works,” McTavish said. “They are like a score, orchestration, script, generative code.”

If students need to relax they are encouraged to come to the exhibit.

“It's a safe place to relax,” McTavish said.

“Chance” opened Oct. 19 and will stay until Oct.19, 2018.


CultureJakob Bermas