Entanglements: an exploration of the digital literary work FISHNETSTOCKINGS

Flocks of Fish


Act I of FISHNETSTOCKINGS invites participants to play with these underwater creatures that are drawn to the place where the interactor is but do not touch them.  [Insert video portion of me running away from the gellies.]

To create this effect, the code adopts a flocking algorithm, modeled upon the flocking of birds.

Daniel Schiffman recreated Craig Reynolds’ Boids (1986) artificial life program. Merfolk  in the code referred to as Merboids [image of code/annotation]. The code also refers to other mechanisms for steering other boids. They follow sometimes user one, sometimes user two, avoid contact with the user. This is the trope of curiosity, laced with a bit of fear, that we know from the opening of the Hans Christian Andersen tale. 

Of course, perhaps it only make sense for creatures of the see to flock like boids, as The Little Mermaid is once again transmuted into a creature of the air at the end of the tale, after she forgoes taking the life of the Prince in order to save her own life.  From bird to fish and back again, though this last transformation is a bit grim even for a fairytale. 

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