Swarming. Science Fact and Science Fiction of Collective Intelligence

Activity: Talk or presentationConference PresentationsResearch

Sebastian Vehlken - Speaker

Swarms have frequently been portrayed as rather terrifying agent collectives. Moreover, in Science fiction media texts, they often disturb the transmission of visual data being themselves transmission events: Oscillating between a hidden, distributed, decentralized order and a seemingly chaotic swarming, they designate the boundaries of the code of central perspective and likewise exhibit the swift and flexible organizational capabilities of a collective intelligence. At the same time, graphical visualization and animation of swarms in feature films usually rely on efficient agent-based computer simulations. These are informed by the biological research of swarms, flocks, and schools, whilst on their part provide the models, computer simulations and visualization technologies that open up new epistemic perspectives for this very biological research. This article states –from a media historical and epistemological perspective –that it is graphic animation design which efficiently renders the operations within the diffuse epistemic object of swarms more distinctive, hence short-circuiting science fiction and science fact.


Biennial Conference ''Film & History'' - 2008: Film and Science. Fiction, Documentraies, and Beyond


Chicago, United States

Event: Conference