Supercomputer is on show 24 hours a day, Mill Park, Cambridge CB1.
On the 27th August Supercomputer will be performing its computations between the hours of 11am and 5pm, attended by the artist, as it will on the 10th September and the 8th October. Further dates, one a month, will be posted here.
Born out of the collision of pinball and pachinko with theories of computing and artificial life, Supercomputer is a composing machine in which the flow of ball bearings, carrying information through labyrinthine circuits of mechanical computational units, calculates minimal melodic phrases.
As a work of art, Supercomputer relates as much to Jean Tinguely's sculptural machines and Sol LeWitt's instruction-based drawings and structures, as to Cambridge's seminal position in the history of computing, in particular the work of Alan Turing and John Conway.
The process implicit in Supercomputer, a one dimensional cellular automata, is a simplification of Conway's Game of Life; a self-organising system in which each output (result) is fed back to become the next input. Supercomputer's form is a direct consequence of this computation. The process, understood as an abstract set of instructions, dictates the physical, mechanical and visual aspects of the sculpture. Form follows function.
Although nothing is random in Supercomputer's computation - for each of its 8192 possible settings the sculpture's computational process is distinct and deterministic - indeterminacy is introduced through bugs, resulting in a unique composition in which melodies are accompanied by sounds of the work in process, the complex sonic patterns of Supercomputer's calculations.
|Supercomputer is an artwork by Jem Finer. The mechanism was designed and built by Darius Wilson Associates (Darius Wilson and Nick Wilson). The container was built by Urban Space Management. Guide FAQ Photographs Plumbing @supercmptr tweet|