Description of an interaction

You enter a room with six digital art works spread across screens and the gallery walls. As you explore the space, different pieces are triggered, pixels flicker and limbs shake into life. Patterns of colour streak past your eyes. Strange animal like noises fill the air, the artworks seem to be communicating, but how? What are they saying? Who are they talking to? How are they connected? Can you help them create new relationships with each other and what happens when you leave the room?



Symbiotic is a collaborative exhibition between Genetic Moo and Sean Clark at Phoenix Square Art Centre, Leicester. All six artworks not only interact with the audience but also with each other creating an ever changing digital art ecology.

The artworks communicate through colour and sound, working together to form a complex whole that actively responds to the presence of people and changes in the gallery environment. When you enter the gallery you become part of the artworks, helping them grow and creating new, symbiotic relationships.

Symbiotic is an experiment in interconnectedness.


The Cockatoo

Based on the deep sea Cockatoo Squid, it responds both to the colour of the Whale piece opposite and to what it can hear, mimicking any sound in the room. If interested enough it will sing its own particular mating calls. Its body is patterned with coloured chromatophore discs which have the ability to mimic colour.

It's Alive! Ants

It's Alive! Ants is the latest site-specific piece that sees wriggling pixels respond to user motion in the Cube gallery. Hotspots trigger discs of food which the ants will feed on, laying down pheromone trails as they go. As more ants are activated the trails expand creating mini ant highways across the piece.


Starfish was inspired by the notion of how humans would evolve along sensual, as opposed to intellectual, grounds. Starfish was constructed by stitching together photos and videos of the artists' own body parts. In this open source version, the interaction is driven by a Kinect sensor which responds to user motion in front of the screen.

Red Spinner / Blue Spinner

Red Spinner and Blue Spinner are simple colour responsive organisms activated by the presence of their particular colour. As the amount of colour increases they becoming increasingly excited, making enthusiastic sounds and calls.

The Whale

The Whale searches the deep ocean for sources of light. It particularly likes bioluminescence colours of the Cockatoo Squid, but it will also feed on the reflected light from other creatures it comes across. The Whale never forgets, remembering previous encounters as it searches.

Technical description

Starfish by Genetic Moo· PC running Processing, Kinect sensor, monitor, speakers

It's Alive! Ants by Genetic Moo· Mac Mini running Processing, projector, widescreen webcam

Cockatoo by Genetic Moo· PC running Processing, projector, webcam, speakers

Blue & Red Spinners by Sean Clerk · Mac PC running Max MSP, webcam, monitor

The Whale by Sean Clerk · Mac PC running Max MSP, webcam, projector