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taxis (pronounced \ˈtak-səs\)

taxis is a generative artwork consisting of a series of successively produced, rapid-prototyped objects. Each object’s form is shaped via a combination of two input factors. The primary factor is the stimulus of human interaction (touch) with the object. The secondary factor is an ongoing, algorithmically based competition between the arm subcomponents of each object for an optimal placement or positioning. The optimal position for an arm is defined as the one that attracts the most human touch.

Each object in the taxis series was printed on-the-fly, over the course of the reForm() exhibition on a ZCorp 450 3D printer.

The object printed most recently is considered the “active” object. The “active” object was displayed on a pedestal in the center of the taxis installation. Visitors were invited to interact with it by gently touching the metal pads located at the end of each of the object’s five arms. Each touch was registered in real time and actively contributed to how the next object’s arms would be positioned and printed.

Sensors embedded within the “active” object’s touch pads were used to detect each individual touch. They would relay that signal, via microcontroller, to a computer where the total number of touches for each individual arm are counted and stored.

Towards the end of each day, the final sum of touch interactions were tallied for each arm and used to establish a hierarchy amongst them. One arm would be deemed the “leader” by the fact that it received the most touches during the day. It was assumed to occupy the most desirable position out of all five arm positions presented. The leader arm would remain in the same position in the next object produced in the series while the other arms jockey for space around the leader.

As newer objects were printed “active” objects would be moved and displayed on a separate larger pedestal in the order they were generated.