Driessens & Verstappen

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Driessens & Verstappen have been working together as an artist couple since 1990 on a very versatile oeuvre of software, machines and objects. Their research mainly aims at what possibilities, physical, chemical and computer algorithms can provide for the development of image-generating processes. Meta-creation is one of the most important points of focus: creating experimental systems that themselves create as well. The phenomena of self-organisation and emergence can form a basis of unpredictability and variability that can provide a potential wealth of ways of expression. 
 
Driessens & Verstappen have been invited by the Technical University of Eindhoven to cooperate in CRISP, more specifically in the Intelligent Play Environments project (i-pe). The principles of this project connect well to the interests of the artist couple. In particular the idea to develop a group of “intelligent agents” that could, by interacting with themselves and people, make an open-ended, emergent game possible. In a way this can be seen as a form of meta-creation: a system is being developed, made out of game elements that together with players, create an environment in which free, not fully specified rules and behaviours can arise.
 
In first instance Driessens & Verstappen develop a computer simulation of the game environment that is based on the prototype “FlowSteps” –the game units- and how these could behave as a non-centralized system while still being able to relate to the players as one great whole, preferably in as many ways as possible provocative and inviting to interact.  The simulations can provide insights in the potential spontaneous forming of gaming rules and can also be of importance for further hardware development of the FlowStep prototypes. For the artists it will be interesting to program game elements in a later stadium and test and possibly refine their behaviours.
 
The collaboration in the CRISP project could be fertile by the mutual exchange of ideas between the various parties, and the availability of prototypes with which experiments can be done, prototypes that would not be accessible to the artists outside of this context. 
 
Participating in project: