American Dream Cycle (Resignation)
Attending the Digital Resources for the Humanities and Arts conference, DRHA2010, at Brunell University, London, I presented in real time computer code using genetic algorithms which produced images and text that created the score for this live art action.
Appropriating and remixing source material from online news sources, this work explores the inconsistencies and cognitive dissonance of the information presented to the American people by the mainstream media. For 60 minutes images and text are processed and the algorithm selects and displays a command of 'Hope' in which I gesture as if holding two guns; 'Salute' in which I stand at attention; and 'Pray' in which I raise my arms slowly towards heaven. As the performer I watch the ever changing images and commands while taking the appropriate pose. The commands of 'Hope', 'Salute' and 'Pray' in effect become the performance score for this live art action.
Using genetic algorithms based on Darwin's theory of natural selection, the code creates an initial population by downloading source images and text in real time from the Internet. The algorithm does not create new images as much as it discovers them from among those most fit to survive. Pairs of images are selected and combined to create a generation of offspring. Images in each successive generation are tested for fitness and the most successful then reproduce forming a new generation of composite images. The commands are created and added to the composite image. My actions are based upon the commands selected by computer code.