Audiovisual installation on a software that generates crowds
This project involves using cutting-edge CGI "crowd simulation" software, driven by a basic form of artificial intelligence alongside motion capture (MoCap) data to create complex movement and behaviour in large virtual crowds. The technology is used mainly in Hollywood blockbuster films to fill out cities, stadiums and battlefields, but is also used by researchers, architects, scientists and engineers working in crisis mapping, city planning and event management. Using crowd simulations, 'agents' are programmed with behavioural flow diagrams, dictating how they respond to stimuli.
Warburton aimed to create one or more moving-image artworks that use CGI crowd simulation software to liberate the digital crowd. These 'agents' will no longer be disposable puppets that are sent to their death, instead, he allows them to live and explore more experimental parameters.
The piece deals with themes of mass movement: protest, pilgrimage, labour and democracy as well as the interpersonal forces of group dynamics and crowd psychology. This voyage of discovery is set to a choral score, drawing on influences of musical and lyric theatre, folk anthems and rounds, giving these digital extras a voice. They gesticulate, sing, dance, interact, flock and swarm to this soundtrack.