This graphic software explores the self-organization of complex systems by visualizing it as an ever-changing three-dimensional meshwork. The graphic appears in the form of a delicate, open lattice of lines that connect regularly spaced nodes; the lines are fixed or break free of their anchors to reconfigure in another form. The lattice structure rotates, and so the viewer has the sense of peering inside its interior workings. This graphic that is always redrawing itself is the external expression of a virtual machine, one that works ceaselessly to develop code for altering its self-expression. The author of the project is a researcher and architect who is interested in the generation of visual solutions for applications that range from urban environments to non-linear systems. But the VVM isn’t intended to directly produce spatial protocols that can be applied to architecture, even if its appearance is of a spatial network. Rather, it is intended to be a general purpose “thinking machine,” one that can be examined by means of its visible computational dynamics and offer the viewer a visual intuition of how complex systems are organized, including living systems (for example, think of the nodes in VVM’s topology as atoms or molecules). The VVM is a model for an intelligent visualization machine that can reveal those systems to us, even as it somewhat narcissistically gazes at itself and its own possibilities. It is thus an ironic take on von Neumann’s dream of a self-replicating machine.
About the author
Alvaro Castro-Castilla was born in Córdoba in 1983. He studied piano at the conservatories of Mahón and Almendralejo. He enrolled in a degree course in architecture in Madrid in 2001, but his interests soon strayed from what is taught in regular university courses, and he began to explore the potential capacities of information technology to alter the process of architectural creation. He exhibited at the CAB (Burgos) in 2004, together with the musician P.E. Mamou and the architect Concha Almoguera. From the beginning, Alvaro Castor-Castilla’s work has been multidisciplinary, although from his exhibition in 2006 at ARS Electrónica (Austria) and at the Conde Duque Centre (Madrid), his artistic activity has concentrated on the programming of visual systems, artificial intelligence and emerging systems. Recently he was selected to develop a “Disonancias” project (international competition, 2008) he has had an exhibition at ZKM (Germany, 2009) and at Centro Puertas de Castilla (Murcia, 2009). Alvaro Castro-Castilla’s methodology has led him on numerous occasions to position himself in fields far from art. He has worked with the NextLimit Technologies R+D team and has developed independent research, on occasions in close contact with research teams and entities such as the Instituto Nacional de Bioinformática, the Madrid medialab and architect’s studios.