This project explores the concept of message, noise and media in information exchange using a modularized controller that consists of three independent modules: a transmitter, a receiver, and an insect cell.
The transmitter contains a digital system that hosts an excerpt (in text format) from Jean-Henri Fabre’s Souvenirs Entomologiques (2006, English Edition, Social Life in the Insect World). The text is extracted character by character and is encoded into a 5-bit signal stream. Via the five laser modules included within the transmitter, the signal passes through the insect cell into the receiver. The receiver detects the laser beams with five sensor modules and decodes them into Latin script again.
Under ideal conditions, the LCD screen displays the exact excerpt sent by the transmitter. However, with an insect boxed between the transmitter and the receiver, signals may be interfered. The bug is contributing to the received message every time it blocks a laser beam and causes an unexpected modification. By turning the panel knobs, participants can alter the sound and light conditions and affect the insect’s motion patterns. Moreover, the slider adjusts the sample frequency of the receiver, allowing the user to further intervene with the system and explore how their interactions additionally change the behavior of the system.