‘conus’ Mixes Media, Math And Mollusks


We love art installations that use technology in ways probably never before considered, and Moscow media artist [Dimitry Morozov] has done just that with ‘conus’, which reads the surface of mollusk shells and translates the data into real-time audio and video. These shells are unique; their pigmentation generates natural cellular automata. (If you’ve never heard of cellular automata, Conway’s Game of Life is a good example, where a rule set determines whether a cell lives, dies, or regenerates.

[Dimitry’s] installation uses homemade digital microscopes to scan the naturally-created cellular automata of several shells, each rotating on its own disc. As the shell spins, the scans from the microscopes are fed into an algorithm which transforms the signals into data for multiple audio channels and three video monitors. You can watch the mathematical translation of the biologically-formed patterns in a video after the break.

Check out the MSP430 game of life shield for another example of cellular automata.

14 thoughts on “‘conus’ Mixes Media, Math And Mollusks

  1. “We love art installations that use technology in ways probably never before considered”

    Um….no “we” don’t.

    Perhaps “you” do, perhaps “others” do, but “we” definitely do not like crap that someone somewhere has tagged as “art”.

    1. “Um…” obviously he is referring to Hackaday, not “speaking for you”.

      And just because you don’t like it, or it is bad, doesn’t make it “not art”.

      Get over yourself.

      Hackaday, please post more work like this because there is an audience for it.

      1. Hackaday, please don’t post more of this fluffy art wannabe crap, by some small miniscule chance there are people who actually will admit to wanting to see such fluff, they can go over to Boingboing.net which specializes in shilling for hipsters, steampunkers, and other artsy fartsy self aggrandizing fops.

        1. I’ll be the first to admit there’s plenty of shameless “we threw LEDs on it, now it’s art” bogus work out there, but conus clearly isn’t that. At risk of sounding elitist, new media is an area I’m quite familiar with, so you’ll have to clarify what you mean by “this is fluffy art wannabe crap” to deter against this kind of post. I welcome a conversation about the merits of a particular work, but we should establish some basic framework for “what is new media performance/art?” if it’s going to be productive. Are you familiar with either Dixon or Salter’s texts?



          If so, where do you feel conus falls short? I can think of a few installations / performances that bridge gaps between biology and technology (Kac’s “A-Positive,” Stelarc’s work) though those are human connections–one of several reasons I’d argue conus isn’t fluff.

          1. Right on, also you got trolled by vonskippy. Shame on you. I just tend to ignore posts like his that are subjectively negative, referring to them as “internet garbage”. There’s absolutely no point of a reply like that other than spread discontent. There are easy ways to disagree on the net that isn’t offensive.

          2. Not sure if “shame” is directed at me or Vonskippy, but it’s important to me that I actively participate in the HaD community beyond just submitting articles. I care about the content I write and those who read it, including the trolls. I don’t consider it effective trolling when the result is a calm invitation to discuss content.

            Even if my response is completely ignored, someone else may read the reply and google Stelarc having never heard of him: that’s worth it for me.

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