Lauren Maxey is a graduate of the BA Fine Art programme who studied FAMC’s introductory programming course. In this post she introduces the work she exhibited for the degree show, ‘Murmuration’.

This work explores the alternate familiarities of natural existences both abstract and scientific, exploiting how science has codified our existence to make it comprehensible, making a scale and in doing so, forgetting natures unfathomable scale and mystic, my work addresses this neglect.

‘Murmuration’ is a combination of scientific research and abstraction, accentuating the allure of natural phenomenon’s, exploring and representing how starlings flock, through the subjects of infinite space, microcosm and macrocosm.

Physicist Giorgio Parisi explains that starlings flock in a scale-free correlation, increasing their perception range of their neighbours. Every bird moves in relation to the seven birds around it, so on and so forth, like a magnetic reaction.

Coding on ‘Processing’ allowed for an interesting oxymoron narrative, representing the unpredictable habit of starlings through an instructive language. This code is an implementation of Craig Reynold’s and Daniel Shiffman’s Boid program, simulating the flocking behavior of birds. Each boid steers itself based on rules of avoidance, alignment, and coherence.

The poetical dimension of growing crystals onto organza material was mimicking the theme of correlation, every crystal growing in reaction to its neighbour, spreading and increasing in size.

The ambiguity of the salt sculpture allows its existence to be malleable for the viewer, existing as a naturalistic symbol the starlings exist on. A delicate meditative aesthetic, blurring between a microcosmic representation of sky, sea and landscape.