Site published - 25.04.2002

Algaerhythms is a two dimensional, two state cellular automata program that manifests as both audio and visual pattern. The rules of this cellular automata dictate that at each iteration of the program each cell looks at all eight of it's immediate neighbours to see how many are alive or dead. The levels of overcrowding or isolation each cell can endure and how many live neighbours it needs for it to be born depend upon the (user adjustable) rule set in the top right of the page.

In two state cellular automata the classic "Game of Life" (3 - 2 - 3) configuration is generally considered to produce the most varied and interesting results.

Although two dimensional in nature the cell grid has been tilted and is shown in a pseudo three dimensional isometric elevation. This allows for a better visualisation of the history of the cell growth, for each iteration a cell survives it grows upwards on a thin stem.

Algaerhythms attempts at several different audio-visual mappings.

Due to technical limitations each cell does not emit it's own sound, instead the tones produced at each iteration of the program are generated according to the ratio of deaths to births in proportion to the overall live cell population.

The speed of growth or the rate at which the program is run determines the speed and overall pitch of the melodies produced. If the growth speed is set to slow the speed of the melody will be slow and the tones will be long and low in pitch.

The volume of the melody is directly related to the number of live cells. The higher the cell population the louder the volume of the melody.

Finally the texture, timbre, and shape of the tones in each automata have been chosen to describe the visual appearance of the live cells as intimately as possible.

The Algaerhythm colour variations offer different audio visual interpretations of the same automata.

Some automata rule sets are

more conducive to sustained life (longer songs) than others and some are more prone to produce stable configurations or growth loops - growth loops will also produce audio-visual repetition.

As well as controlling the speed of growth, the rate of decay and the automata rule set the user can also paint live cells directly onto the cell grid, either prior to starting the automata and so creating their own "Eden state" or during the running of the automata - adding cells to coax a withering population back to abundance or to tip a stable configuration back into chaos.

Algaerhythms is a contribution to the online gallery of web creatures called

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