THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS
The Tragedy of the Commons is an installation piece created by artists Ali Momeni and Robin Meier. This work is a "live experiment" based upon the movements of thousands of Atta ants, also known as leafcutter ants, as they react to various scents and flavors inserted into their environment. Adjacent microphones and cameras track the ants' movements and allow viewers to observe their particular behaviors in a time lapse video. Artists Meier and Momeni have designed a unique environment for the ants, whose collective behavior is determined by external stimuli. The two artists, who share a background in electronic and experimental music, visually render mechanisms of social manipulation, inspired by G. Hardin book entitled The Tragedy of the Commons.
about the artists
Ali Momeni is a builder, composer, and performer interested in the poetics of gesture, affect, and timing. His work makes use all manners of technology to explore the social lives of objects and their embedded performative qualities. His creative output ranges from kinetic sculptures and sound installations, to urban interventions and music theater performance. Momeni was born in Isfahan, Iran and emigrated to the United States at the age of twelve. He studied physics and music at Swarthmore College, completing his doctoral degree in music composition, improvisation, and performance with computers from the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at UC Berkeley. He spent three years in Paris where he collaborated with performers and researchers from La Kitchen, IRCAM, Sony CSL and CIRM. After four years as an assistant professorship in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he directed the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art, and where he runs an urban projection colllective called the MAW, Momeni begins teaching Carnegie Mellon University this year.
Robin Meier is a Swiss artist and composer who currently lives in France. His interests lie in the emergence of natural and artificial intelligence and the role of humans in a world of machines. Meier tries to make sense of these questions through musical compositions and installations. Described as "Artist of the future" (le Monde), "Vuvuzela of contemporary art" (Liberation), and "pathetic" (Vimeo) Meier shows his works are shown around the globe, most recently at the Palais de Tokyo and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, SIGGRAPH in Yokohama, Japan, and the Auditorio Nacional de Musica in Madrid.