Naturata Naturans, 2019

Realtime procedural render, soundscape

Royal College of Art

The figure on screen is a Bulul, an artifact from a living society in the Cordilleras, Nothern Philippines. 3D scanned and rendered in real time, its texture and form are continuously generated and transformed by four General Adversarial Networks trained on materials from the region. These networks are then recombined to create an endless stream of intermediate textures.

The artifact’s purpose in its original context is to receive the negative energies channeled during ritual to protect the rice stored in granaries. In its original material form, it is a powerful symbol whose existence orbits along the cycles of life, rhythm and ritual. Digitally, its presence is contingent on a series of operations through which an object is transformed first into its own numerical representation, then into an image that is continuously re-presented.

This work questions the ontology of materials — considering to what extent symbolic objects can create meanings beyond themselves and whether digital representations can acquire an agency of their own creation.

View exhibition booklet