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Robin Hunter

DataSwarm is an interactive art installation inspired by birds in the sky.

The event 📅

Equinox is a yearly internal conference at Fjord, where we get together for 3 days of talks, conversation and fun. For Equinox 2019, we created an interactive visualisation of all attendees at the event called Dataswarm.

We created a control panel interface which could change the behaviour of the swarm and left it out on an ipad for the conference attendees to play with. It was fun to see the swarm reflect the mood of the conference throughout the day, starting calmly, then getting a lot more lively as the day went on.

About the piece 🎨

The swarm is a metaphor for the event: people come together and form small groups made up of people from across the globe who practice different crafts, they then split off naturally, joining other flocks and moving in new ways with new people. Together, we create and shape a main system which is larger and more complex than any of the individuals within it.

My role 👾

I initiated and lead the project with the support of two creative technologists and one visual designer. We used p5.js to implement the classic Boids algorithm. Firebase was used to add real time control. We implemented a bin-lattice spatial subdivision approach to ensure performance at 400+ boids on a large screen.