Living Concepts


LivingConcepts was written to enable students of the Algorithmic Art and Artificial Intelligence class given by Prof. Remko Scha at the University of Amsterdam to explore the often difficult concepts that are presented in the course. The course entails a host of topics and we tried to select a few representative concepts in the hope that by seeing how these concepts work together you get, quite literally, a better 'feel' for how they can be used. The topics we selected for this version are 'brownian motion', 'flocking', 'recursion', 'feedback', 'cellular automata', 'hillclimbing' and 'machine drawing'

The different concepts are presented in seven chapters. In each chapter you can create objects that are controlled by an algorithm, (or 'calculation') which makes them move in a certain way and tells them how to react to eachother. While the objects are moving around, you can change the way the algorithm is controlling them. Because you see immediately how the different parameters change the behaviour of the objects, it becomes much easier to see where the algorithm works and where it starts to fail. We hope that this kind of presentation makes these ideas and concepts become more alive.

There are six main sections in this site, the 'movies' section, where you can look at what other people have been doing with the software and you can send your own creations so we can show them on the website, there is a 'tutorial' section where the different concepts are explained and tutorials to show you how to use the program, there is the 'download' area so you can get the OSX and Windows versions and place a request for the sourcecode and there is the 'links' section which brings you to many related sites if you like to know more and the 'contributors' section lists all the people that have contributed. Have a look at the movies first, to get an idea what LivingConcepts can do.

J. van der Spek