Reflex is the seventh of the Trust’s annual installations and reacts to pedestrians passing by its premises on the Euston Road. It emulates ‘swarming behaviour’ and is apparently based on an algorithm developed to replicate the collective decision making seen in large groups of creatures such as birds or ants.
The piece is constructed from hundreds of brass rods and thousands of LEDs arranged on small custom chips. Reflex recreates ‘stigmergy’, the Wellcome Trust explain, whereby traces left by random actions stimulate further actions that build on one another, leading to the spontaneous emergence of apparently patterned activity.
A short film of the work in action is here.
Reflex is at the Wellcome Trust, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE until April 2012.
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