EarGram actors: an interactive audiovisual system based on social behavior

Peter Beyls, Gilberto Bernardes, Marcelo Caetano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



In multi-agent systems, local interactions among system components following relatively simple rules often result in complex overall systemic behavior. Complex behavioral and morphological patterns have been used to generate and organize audiovisual systems with artistic purposes. In this work, we propose to use the Actor model of social interactions to drive a concatenative synthesis engine called earGram in real time. The Actor model was originally developed to explore the emergence of complex visual patterns. On the other hand, earGram was originally developed to facilitate the creative exploration of concatenative sound synthesis. The integrated audiovisual system allows a human performer to interact with the system dynamics while receiving visual and auditory feedback. The interaction happens indirectly by disturbing the rules governing the social relationships amongst the actors, which results in a wide range of dynamic spatiotemporal patterns. A performer thus improvises within the behavioural scope of the system while evaluating the apparent connections between parameter values and actual complexity of the system output.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Science and Technology of the Arts
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Audiovisual system
  • Distributed agent system
  • Emergence
  • Complexity
  • Concatenative sound synthesis
  • Interactive musical improvisation


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