Press and Media
January 25, 2019

Greg Niemeyer and Roger Antonsen @ Catharine Clark (review)

The uncanny, lifelike nature of large networks is a recurring theme throughout, and is most clearly demonstrated in Network Simulation, an interactive generative software piece available on a touch screen and as a series of printed stills. The visual building blocks of Simulation could not be simpler: white circles called “nodes” connected by thin white lines called “edges.” Basic rules undergird the display that determine when an edge will form between two nodes and when a node will vanish or appear. Rudimentary physics determine how much push and pull the nodes have on each other and how they move through space. When you start to interact with the piece you quickly discover that it is less like drawing dots on a board and more like trying to coax a colony of ants to assume an arbitrary shape. Interacting with the piece feels primordial, like you are shaping galaxies with your fingertips. It’s difficult not to feel that the mass of nodes manifests some kind of intelligence as it resists being pulled in a given direction.