Thomas Kienzl: _zur form

  • ©2007, Thomas Kienzl




    _zur form


Creation Year:



Artist Statement:

    This project is a collaborative mixed-reality media installation by Florian Grond, Thomas Kienzl, and Gabriele Engelhardt. It originates from Florian Grond’s diploma thesis concerning the stability of strange attractors. All three of us share a fascination for strange attractors, since visual media observation reveals the underlying differential equation to be far less abstract. During the 19th century, 3D plaster models of mathematical functions were produced in Germany and globally distributed. These forms later inspired numerous 19th- and 20th-century artists and were for us the starting point for the concept of our project. In German the word “begreifen” (to understand) means literally to grasp an idea. This is what we want to make possible for others with this project. Transforming formulas into forms also emphasizes the original meaning of information, which is “bringing into form.” With Thomas Kienzl’s experience with mixed-reality setups, we developed a way to use the tangible interface (MRI) as a didactic framework. Hands-on experience with the MRI showed it to be a fascinating interface that encourages a wide variety of people to engage with and manipulate virtual reality.

Technical Information:

    In addition to the MRI, rapid prototyping is a key technology in this project and is used to
    produce the 3D mathematical forms. The mathematical forms are strange attractors from the
    field of nonlinear dynamics. Their forms are calculated through a particular algorithm that accents their curious topological structure. At SIGGRAPH 2007, the MRI serves as an interface of high usability that enables the user to manipulate the dynamic strange attractors in real time.