An interactive installation that lets the user control an unstable ecosystem of islands and boats. Based on my time growing up on a small island and the expansive history of events across the Scottish isles. The piece uses fundamental rules to determine the behavior of boats traveling from island to island while the user controls the locations of islands. The result is a flow of resources, a shifting stream of boats that push and pull across the seascape.

Boats travel from island to island, moving resources from place to place as they go. Ultimately it is this transfer of resources that creates a higher entropy across the network of islands. Modelled on the events from the Scottish islands, especially the clyde puffer and how the network developed the structure of the islands whilst the islands controlled and defined the networks themselves. Both supporting the other. The clyde puffer played a massive role in the development of island communities, bringing resources to remote beaches with no harbours and taking produce to the busier ports for profit. 32 fundemental rules were selected to control the artwork.
Rules of Connection
--------------[Rules for Islands]------------------
Rule 01: An Island has a location.
Rule 02: An Island can store "resources".
Rule 03: An Island can store "Potential".
Rule 04: An island can create a boat to travel.
Rule 05: The greater the distance the more resources needed.
---------------[Rules for Boats]-------------------
Rule 06: A Boat has a location.
Rule 07: A Boat has a Velocity.
Rule 08: A Boat has a destination island.
Rule 09: A Boat will steer towards its destination.
Rule 10: A Boat will avoid Islands that are not its destination.
Rule 11: A Boat will steer away from other boats.
Rule 12: A boat will follow where previous boats have been.
Rule 13: A Boat will be influenced by tide and wind.
Rule 14: A Boat will transfer resources to its destination island.
These rules represent the part of the processes that the computer runs during this piece. They are the rules that determine what happens to the environment, the islands and the boats. Rule 1 is the point of interaction for the user. The user can control this one rule while all other rules are played out from this starting point.
By creating, sharing and updating charts safer navigation could be made across the empty seascapes. As more information was shared a stronger network was formed. Buoys, markers and lighthouses tell us the rich story of peril and hardship at sea, each marks a once disastrous event. As the charts improve and the harbours reinforced a greater connection can be made. It is this improvement to the network that makes older boats obsolete. As the clyde puffers improved the islands, the networks and the harbours, it too became obsolete, being replaced by larger ro-ro ferries.
The user views the seascape from above, providing an unrealistic vantage point. The islands can be moved, removed or added to change the future of the network. Avoiding isolation, creating thriving clusters or forcing exploration. The piece starts to resemble a game, the goal however is somewhat unknown. The rules are hidden. By playing and exploring the piece both will be revealed.
The final outcome is an impressive flow of boats, streaming from island to island, finding there paths that lead them there.
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