A Teakettle's Thermal Beings    (2014)

"A Teakettle's Thermal Beings" coaxes into visibility a process of material computation without a computer. Within a tangle of projective shadows, an observable process ensues. The thermal beings not only compute a circular (convecting) current, but also maintain this rotational circuit in a rhythmic equilibrium, forming an inside-outside structure for a brief, but intense, duration.

Note that this video has no sound; it is intentionally silent.

"A material near its critical transition point between the liquid and the gas states, must, in effect, come to a global decision about whether it must settle down to a liquid or to a gas. This sounds almost anthropomorphic, but the results reported here suggest that we must think about such systems as effectively _computing_ their way to a minimum energy state." (Christopher Langton, "Life at the Edge of Chaos", 1992. Langton is quoted by Manuel DeLanda in his book "Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy")

Thanks to the organization Signal Culture for providing generous support in the making of this work through its artist residency program.




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