Lectures / 27/07/2009 7:30 pmCommunication?
Going with the flow. Eine Mediengeschichte der Schwarmforschung zwischen Biologie und Computersimulation
Swarms oscillate between expansion and condensation, between multiplicity and unity. Seen from a distance they appear as if they were a unitary entity, which makes it impossible to observe the behaviour of individual members. And the closer you zoom up to them and the more capable of analysis your perspective on them seemingly becomes, the more the white noise of their internal movements blocks insight into the way they operate. We know from the media history of research on biological swarms that the most diverse approaches using scientific apparatus that have been ongoing since around 1900 have all failed. It was only when computer simulations and their visual synthesis were applied to swarms as dynamic systems that the interconnectedness of both their local and global dynamics began to emerge. Computer animations become in this way the clearing house where IT approaches to biology mingle with the biologization of IT: artiificial multiagent systems create new perspectives on biological swarms and programming paradigms make use of biological in sights into relations. The operationalization of swarms in the work of software engineers and the biologists’ research on them take place side by side and condense the swarms’ white noise into figures of knowledge.
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