Alan Dorin, 2003


Meniscus is an interactive, electronic ecology. The inhabitants of Meniscus depend upon the visitors to the gallery to provide a suitable environment for their activities. Over millions of CPU cycles, the electronic critters wander across the bitscape subject to interactions with other critters, to pseudo-random events and to the pressures of digital evolution. Human hands may alter the space and living conditions, further manipulating the development of these flickering lightforms.

Quicktime movie of Meniscus (14Mb)

Meniscus, relates the shape of a lens, the surface of water in a pipette and the crescent moon. The term provides an evocative metaphor for the interface between the causality of the physical world and its emergent surprise: biology. The work itself also links the interpretation of physical/chemical relationships to the manipulation of symbols as performed by a machine, a scientist or an artist. The boundary between these signifiers and that which they signify often lies unacknowledged by those who assign the mappings across it. The work Meniscus plays upon this aspect of simulation by lowering the human into the melee and by raising the pure symbol from the depths of the machine to meet its maker on his or her own terms.

The work was first exhibited at the Experimenta House of Tomorrow 5 Sept - 3 Oct 2003. Meniscus sprang from the Iki-iki Hoikuen.


Summary exhibition requirements: 24 inch, vertically-oriented, wall mounted flat-panel display or plasma screen; Macintosh G4 (or better) computer; cabling; 20 watt (RMS) powered stereo speakers. Provided by the artist: control device and wall-mount; Meniscus software. For further information regarding the exhibition of this work please contact the artist.

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