After Miyajima

After Miyajima Series I Mutation 5 fragment
After Miyajima (Mutation Series) (2002 – 2008) is a series of art installations for display in spaces, either on screens or projected. Each work consists of one or more computers with installed software and accompanying displays. All images are generated live and the processes within the works generate a random soundtrack.

The works display different configurations of coloured numerical LEDs (light emitting diodes). LEDs were used to display output in early calculators and digital watches and were first brought into the art space by Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima in the late 1980s.

After Miyajima Series II Mutation 1 screenshot
Rob initially recreated five of Miyajima’s sculptures in software, gaining an understanding of the formal and conceptual aspects of his work. Rob then developed ‘mutation’ versions which break Miyajima’s rule of sequential counting and contrast his Eastern view of life with ideas of evolution and genetics.

The mutation LEDs randomly transform, using artificial life rules to determine which segments will be lit up or extinguished. They flash with ‘life energy’ and generate sound when they ‘discover’ that they have formed a number from one to nine. The pieces can be seen to represent a primordial soup, where life itself is forming.

After Miyajima (2002 – 2008) has been installed at six locations in London, New York and Amsterdam since it was first shown publicly in 2002. In 2006 it was the first computer art installation to be screened at the BFI Southbank (formerly the NFT).

Full list of locations:

  • Stedelijk
  • Monkey Town
  • E32
  • Horse Hospital
  • BFI Southbank
  • Great Eastern