Simon Penny

Sympathetic Sentience II

Simon Penny
with technical support by Jamieson Schulte

Sympathetic Sentience is an interactive sound installation which generates complex patterns of rythmic sound through to phenomenon of emergent complexity. Each of the eight identical units is alone capable of the most extremely simple on/off rythm. Rythmic complexity develops through the concatenation of the units.

In the installation each unit passes its rythm to the next. Each unit then combines its own rythm with the rythm it recieves, and passes the resulting new rythm along. Thus the rythms slowly cycle around the group, increasing in complexity.

A visitor can interupt this chain of communication by moving through the space. This results in a supression of communication activity and hence reduction of complexity. Along interuption results in complete silencing of the whole group. When the interupion is removed, slowly a new rythm will build up.

The build-up of a new rhythm cycle can take several minutes. The rhythm cycles are never constant but continually in development. To gain experience of the full complexity of the piece, it is recommended to spend several minutes with the piece in an uninterupted state.