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Sketch - Cultural Exchange


This sketch started as the answer to a question: "What happens when cellular automata with different rules interact in the same space?" After the release of mono no aware in October 2021, I was thinking about how I might try new kinds of rules and systems to get some additional complexity and diversity in my outputs. Around this time I was doing some sketches, and one of them was really promising -- where a few circles divided a canvas into an "inside" and "outside."


On one side was a static, geometric, circuitry-resembling ruleset I called "cyber." On the other, a fluid, organic-looking ruleset behaving similarly to surface tension that I called "creep." As the circles changed size and overlapped, their contents interacted in complex ways. They reminded me of little petri dishes full of life exchanging information, which gave the sketch its working title -- cultural exchange.


Ultimately, this sketch became a project called Implications.


A sketch for cultural exchange showing "creep" and "cyber"



Exploring the "creep" ruleset and the way it models surface tension -- like oil and water. This sketch shows a performance-intensive second-nearest neighbor automaton version of the rules. It looks nice, but was a little too demanding to use in the final product.



I experimented with allowing cells to "paint" the canvas. A rectangular region with a different ruleset moves across the canvas perturbing the contents -- a concept I call a "sweeper." Both techniques are used in Implications.


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