Source: Copyright © 2013 Tamas Waliczky & Anna Szepesi

Tamas Waliczky

Wheels , ongoing
Co-workers & Funding
Concept, design: Tamas Waliczky.
Computer programming, 3D design: Alan Kwan Tsz-wai.
Artistic advisor: Anna Szepesi.
Produced with the help of the Start Up Grant of School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.
Copyright © 2013 Tamas Waliczky & Anna Szepesi
  • Wheels
    1280 × 720
  • Wheels
    400 × 400
  • Wheels
    400 × 400
  • Wheels
    400 × 400
  • Wheels at CMC, Hong Kong
    1024 × 768
  • Wheels at Goethe Institut Hong Kong
    1024 × 744
  • Wheels at Oil Street Museum, Hong Kong
    800 × 536
  • Wheels at re-new festival, Copenhagen
    1200 × 675
Installation using real-time computer simulation.

When you depict the movement of parts of the human body in a time/value co-ordinate system, you get various wave forms; in the case of repetitive movement, sine waves. During movement, most parts of the human body draw sine waves with various amplitude and phase, but with the same angular frequency.

When you depict in the same co-ordinate system the position of one point of a rotating and moving circle, the result is also a sine wave. This similarity gave me the idea to define human body movements with rotating circles.

In “Wheels”, there is a complex system of rotating circles, which animate human bodies. The construction of circles in the background, like a giant clockwork or astronomical system, determines the movement of the human bodies in front. Every wheel has its own power, which has an effect on the bodies, depending on the size, distance and speed of the wheel. The multiple power of the wheels is added together and has a cumulative effect on the human characters. When the characters collide with each other, their bodies take on collision energy, which moves the body to a new direction. The result of the various directions and powers of energy sources causes random movements and group behaviours of the characters. They form couples, gather together or make solitary actions. Their gestures and relation to each other is surprisingly “human”.

By showing how small changes in a complex system lead to cumulative large effects elsewhere, this artwork is also a representation of the Butterfly Effect metaphor.

This installation is the next step in my long-term research, in which I study how complex systems of random or chaotic displacements can generate the illusion of human behaviour in computer animation. This long-term research started with the work "Children's Game", then "Animation Number Seven", and in the year 2007, "Marionettes". (In “Wheels”, I am using the same half human-half animal or plant creatures I designed for “Marionettes”.) These works deny the general stereotype that computer animation cannot express complex human behaviour or describe human relations.

The resulting animation is projected on a pair of large high-resolution monitors in the form of an art installation.
  • aesthetics
    • installation-based
    • real-time
  • genres
    • digital animation
    • installations
  • subjects
    • Art and Science
      • algorithms
      • dynamical systems
      • space
    • Arts and Visual Culture
      • theory
        • complexity
    • Body and Psychology
      • empathy
      • movement
      • posthuman
    • Technology and Innovation
      • artificial life
      • simulation
Technology & Material
Blender & Python open source software for real-time computer simulation programme.