Generating apparent behaviour

This light installation shows short autonomous performances of 90 seconds each, by three main characters which take the form of light beams. In every performance each light gets assigned a different interaction behaviour, like aggression, fear, or love. This concept is based on a study by psychologists Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel.


An experimental study of apparent behaviour is a research executed in 1944 by psychologists Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel. A short animation was shown, of abstract shapes moving in specific directions, and sometimes into and out of a rectangular box. After watching the animation, the viewers were asked what kind of person the shapes were. They could come up with different kinds of storylines and characteristics based on the movements.

The computer performs by running the code,
but it’s up to you to interpret the story.


For commissions or collaborations you can contact me at:


© Erik de Geus 2022