Fugue Exhibition :: Rainer Linz

July-August 2006, Belgrade Serbia

Infra red motion detection inside the installation enclosure.

Infra red motion detection inside the installation enclosure.

Rainer Linz Fugue is an international collaborative art/science project based around a simulated artificial immune system. The work is the product of a team of artists and scientists led by visual artist Gordana Novakovic based at UCL in London, and includes Dr Peter Bentley (computer scientist), Anthony Ruto (3D modelling), Dr Julie McCleod (immune system scientist), Richard Newcombe (motion detection system design and programming) and Zoran Milkovic (installation design) as well as myself (sound design and programming).


The Fugue installation was most recently shown in Belgrade at the ULUS Gallery (Serbian Asscociaton of Fine Arts) between July 19 August 2 2006. I was able to attend the exhibition thanks to an ANAT Conference and Workshop Fund grant covering my travel costs.

The Fugue project has been in development for over two years, ranging through a series of prototypes which include a screen-based “demonstration tool” intended for teaching purposes, to a projection-based installation, to the present interactive version involving a panoramic enclosure fitted with an intelligent infra red motion detection system. Additional developments are planned for the future including a multi-projector immersive display.

My own part in this ongoing project has been to design and program the sound (the title, Fugue, refers to the strict relationship between the sound and visual elements of the installation). This was done entirely at long distance using the internet for communication, described in more detail at http://www.rainerlinz.net/NMA/articles/fugue.html


Still photograph of animated immune system agents

Still photograph of animated immune system agents

Visitors from as far afield as Bosnia attended the installation, which caused much discussion in Belgrade itself. The installation received good media coverage on national television as well as in newspapers.


A public presentation was held in the final week of the exhibition which was well attended by local artists, students and the general public. In particular a great deal of interest was shown in the biological aspects of the installation, and in the form of interaction that has recently been integrated into it. The internationally renowned art theorist and curator Misko Suvakovic introduced this session, at which I was able to give a brief presentation covering aspects of my sound design.

ULUS is a fine art gallery and so an unusual venue for exhibiting an electronic installation. It provided an opportunity to present Fugue to a broad audience, rather than one devoted to the electronic arts in particular. Generally speaking, it may be said that the scientific aspect of the work overshadowed the artistic concept in some respects. For many visitors the ethics of science came into question – one insisted on being told exactly what information was being collected by the installation, and for what purpose.

As a result of the visit, I was able to familiarise myself with a work that I had been helping to develop for over two years, but had not had the chance to directly experience. This contact is of course invaluable for continuing work. While the internet and other means of communication have enabled my involvement in the project (it is surprising to think this would not have been possible some years ago) these are, in the end, no substitute for direct personal contact.

The opportunity to re-establish contact with my colleagues on this project has been a major benefit. I also met Prof Owen Holland from the Centre for robotics at Essex University, who outlined some of the recent developments in robot design there.

Additional documentation brief video documentation of the installation This clip is cut together from my own video documentation, made at various stages during the exhibition. A more professional video document is currently being put together.


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