Peter Beyls

This paper provides an informal introduction to Petri, an interactive audiovisual installation built as a society of communicating virtual agents developing autonomous behaviour but equally sensitive to outside human-originated influence. From a systems point of view, this work consists as a dynamic interface connecting life in an artificial society with life in a given tangible physical environment. Design principles include the synthesis of sustained forms of emergent audiovisual/behavioural complexity over time, short-term complexity from simple local interactions and long-term complexity made available through genetic optimisation. Petri suggests that partial understanding of systems behaviour blended with the accommodation of surprise makes for a rewarding aesthetic experience.