SCAN (Southern Arts Collaborative Network) is an umbrella organization overseeing nine galleries on the South Coast of England. 9PIN++ is a project that is networked, both physically and virtually, across all nine of these galleries. This project considers each gallery to be a node within the SCAN network, and installs nine computers in each node: one ‘gateway’ machine and one ‘mirror’ machine for each of the other galleries in the network. Each gallery also has a range of sensors and actuators that allow the system to monitor environmental activity inside each gallery. The gateway machine gathers this data from its node and is then responsible for representing the node to the other parts of the network. The other eight computers in each node are mirror versions of the gateway machines in the other eight galleries. The gateway negotiates with the machines in other nodes that are mirrors of it, in order to agree upon a statistical model. This then is distributing the calculations and processes involved across the entire network, and creating necessary feedback loops between each of the nodes. So each gallery has real time data from all of the galleries, all inside its local system.
The entire 9PIN++ system uses Artificial Intelligence to attempt to predict what will happen in each of the SCAN galleries (data communications, visitor flow, environmental changes, etc.) So, each node reads its sensors, gives them context through comparing them with readings from other galleries, and creates a constantly evolving worldview. If the data it reads fails to match its predictions, then it is obliged to remodel its worldview, and the new data is consequently distributed across the entire 9 galleries, who in turn also update their own models. So one hand gesture, a one off email, or a visit to a previously unexplored website results in the entire system rebuilding itself. So the system is attempting to maintain a balance: it uses model-based compression algorithms in order to keep a kind of homeostasis.
The result is a further exploration of an autonomous system aesthetic, where the artwork constructs a language with which to formulate its own representation, rather than having one pre-imposed upon it by the artist.