I realized the project with the Processing development environment in addition with the featured physics library punktiert, the sound library minim and the GIF library GifAnimation. As physical components I used an old microscope from the UdSSR, kindly provided by Prof. Klöckner, an old black-painted photo container prepared to look like an occular camera, an lancing device, a set of object slides, propyl alcohol for desinfection, as well as rubber gloves and sterile compresses for the serious doctor-like look & feel.

My first thought on the realization was to make it as realistic as possible. I wanted the installation to touch the subject (the visitor on the day of Open Doors) in a personal way which encourages him to think about possible threats of artificial intelligence in medical usage like drugs. Unfortunately my goals required a much better microscope with much more magnification plus an occular camera. So I requested several universities from different departments as well as online dealers for professional microscopes, if it is possible to lend such a device unhappily without success.

the implementation
In the end I decided to fake the hole visualization. I used the before mentioned physics library in Processing to apply a derivate of the Boids algorithm for flocking behavior on particles I modeled in Photoshop and animated in After Effects. I played with the parameters of the algorithm to get that smooth floating behavior of objects in the bloodstream. After that, I made some animations in AE and saved them in the GIF format for the performance’s sake and imported them to Processing. Due to that process I experienced a pitfall when applying an animation for all my one thousand blood cells the RAM memory was overloading, the processor had above 600% workload and the fans were panicking. I had to use the same animation states for all blood cells. Now they all look the same at every time at the expense of realism. I expected more from my computer. What a pity.
The artificial intelligent particles which should destroy all the bacteria were realized through a seek behavior in the punktiert library. I added all particles, the blood cells, the bacteria and the AI particles to the same particle list, so they were all able to perceive information about each other. I overlayed the hole visualization with a semi-transparent PNG-image from an occular camera.
At last I made the GUI, as well as the counter that keeps track of all destroyed bacteria. Further I programmed my mouse button to control in which state the emulation should be. In the last state the image is fading out to a black screen with the logo of the fake company.
For the support of the installation I did two posters as advertisement for the fictional drug containing the AI Particles. One of them I designed in a trashy, ironic fashion like the iconic advertisement posters of the pharmaceutical industry.

 

by Don Winter, 5th semester
don.winter@student.design.hs-anhalt.de
Supervisor: Prof. Hermann Klöckner