Ex Omnium Rerum Perturbatio Emergat Forma (2009)

An interactive audio visual computer installation of an emergent form

by Hans H. Diebner

Hans H. Diebner: Ex omnium rerum perturbation emergat forma.
Screenshots 2009.

The audio-visual reactive installation makes processes of sychronizations of coupled dynamical systems perceptible by the senses. The simulation obeys a nonlinear reaction-diffusion equation as used for the mathematical modelling of chemical oscillators. Such an undulatory behavior can be observed in biological cells, for example, where they control communication processes. An important special case is the brain which consists of coupled neurons whose activities are based on waxing and waning concentrations, too. A network of such oscillators, i.e. the union of many cells, leads to synchronization phenomena which are controlled by the specific coupling structure.

The fundamental nonlinear and chaotic nature of cell dynamics allows for the emergence of globally coherent patterns. Thereby, externally applied stimulations evoke oscillations in single cells which in turn stimulate neighbored cells and eventually spread their activities over the whole network. Global patterns of synchronization of varying complexity can be observed. In the case of the installation Ex Omnium Rerum Perturbatio Emergat Forma it is the spectator who inserts the stimulus through his or her movement in front of the projection. The movement is captured and transmitted to the coupled network of oscillators by means of realtime video processing.

The concrete audio-visual implementation is reminiscent of the formation of waves and the sound of the sea. The ocean is a particularly attractive metaphor for the emergence of both life and "truth" - perhaps in form of a perilously act of nature like the allegory of Moby Dick.


  1. INM@Night of Museums in Frankfurt upon Main on Sat. 07 May 2011. On the occassion of the "Night of the Museums" all users of the cultural bunker at SchmickstraƟe 18 (cultural bunker in Frankfurt's East harbor) joint to organize a common programme for "The Night".
  2. New media make sense | Context INM: performative science and vireality An exhibition within the scope of "Forum Science and Art" of the HMWK-Hessian Ministery for Science and Art. Curated by Michael Klein and Hans H. Diebner, Institute for New Media, Frankfurt upon Main. Duration: 9 March - 16 April, 2011. Venue: HMWK Wiesbaden Rheinstr. 23-25. Vernissage: 8 March, 2011, 19.30h.