Alan Dorin, 2009

Constellation is a generative audio/visual electronic media artwork. The work investigates the relationships between symbiotic and parasitic species realised in the context of a slowly growing and diminishing surface of tiny mosses and flowers. The software was written by the artist.

Constellation window 1*


  • Biotope, Cube 37 Gallery, Frankston, Victoria, Australia. Curated by CEMA, 13 July - 9 August, 2009
  • Design After Nature, Guildford Lane Gallery, Melbourne, Australia. Curated by CEMA, 3 - 20 December, 2009
  • British Science Festival, Birmingham, UK. Curated by Aniko Ekart, 18 September, 2010
  • Hargrave-Andrew Library, Monash University, Clayton, Australia, managed by Heidi Binghay, 5 August - September, 2014.

Summary exhibition requirements: white-painted space 3mx5m or glass window-front; square projection screen 2mx2m; Macintosh "Mini" computer; DLP data projector; cabling. Provided by the artist: Constellation software. For further information regarding the exhibition of this work please contact the artist.

Constellation simulates the creation of habitat in all ecosystems, from a water droplet to an ocean, a forest to a rocky crevice. Habitat is continually created and destroyed by all organisms as evolutionʼs procession marches relentlessly. In this infinite generative work, tiny software mosses and flowers evolve. Each is different in some way from all that have come before, and from all that will ever follow. Each moulds its own niche, its spatial, temporal, chemical and physical locale. It takes what it must from its environment, and from its community. In return, each offers a straw to which others cling.

The work runs silently over a period of many hours building a dynamic carpet of mosses and flowers of changing hues and petal forms. New growth appears, and old growth decays, fading to dust... The alpinist counts the nebulae of moss that pass beneath his strides as he races the weather and the daylight to the peaks. The seasons pass through him unshaven. Lichen devours the leather of his boots and fractures the rocks to which he clings. Sprouting between his numb fingers, toadstools puff their spores, making smoke rings that vanish in the gale before they form. On his arrival above the ocean of clouds, he has forgotten why he did this. The bottomless canopy of the night sky is dizzying. In the clutches of gravity it is far easier to succumb to darkness than it is to climb.


Constellation window 2 Constellation white
* Photographs © Jon McCormack 2009, used with permission.  

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