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By Rhizome

Richard Bolam has worked on a series of art works entitled Hyperscape (versions 1 - 5) since 2003 of which four are completed and one (version 3) is in progress. Two of the works (Hyperscape 1 & 2) use computers in small area networks to produce work in real time collaboration through the distribution of the work load. One work (Hyperscape 4) doesn’t actually network computers in a technical sense instead it juxtaposes in different ways the output of two computers running the same software generating an image. While the last of the works (Hyperscape 5) is the output of software creating a continuous image suggestive of a landscape (much like a Victorian Myriorama or Endless Landscape) spanning 182 print outs. Below are the works in some more detail.

Hyperscape 1

Hyperscape 1 is a:

screen-based generative installation artwork that runs simultaneously on a network of compact Macintosh computers. One computer decides on the manipulations that are to be applied to the screen image and tells the other computers in the network what it has decided to do. The other computers perform the same manipulation to their own images. However, each machine has a 1 in 20 chance of ignoring the master computer.

Hyperscape 2

Hyperscape 2 is an:

immersive soundscape, again using 8 compact macs. One computer instructs the other 7 to play back a sequence of musical notes and they obey exactly. Because of the unavoidable latency of such old networking technology it is not possible to synchronise them accurately. The artwork relies on this limitation to create an overlapping wash of musical notes.

Hyperscape 4

Hyperscape 4, Landscape/Portrait is an:

installation of 2 networked Macintosh Classic II computers. They simultaneously draw the same generative artwork, one computer sitting in its normal orientation and the other on its side.

Hyperscape 5

Hyperscape 5, space_scape

consists of 182 A4 monochrome inkjet prints mounted on foamboard. The images have been created by a custom-written software program running on HyperCard. Each print is a separate image but together they suggest a continuous horizon. The software varies the parameters used to create and images and the result is an infinitely variable landscape that maintains a similarity without repetition. space_scape is a site-specific work for Access Space and embraces the difficulties of showing art in a busy workplace.

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