'The Third Derivative of Position' 2009

Sound art/installation
James Dunn


An audio/visual representation of a chaos system and it's 'jerk factor' (The Third Derivative)


Using the presence of an individual or individuals within a space, this exhibition uses the positions and movements of people through space to influence chaotic electronic oscillators through the radical perturbation of their trajectories.

When considering a position in space at two points in time we can measure the distance between the two points and divide this by the time interval to give us velocity (or speed) - this is the first derivative of position. The second can be derived from further measurements to determine acceleration. The third derivative of position is jerk and refers to the rate of change of acceleration, in other words the rate of change of the rate of change of the rate of change.

Chaotic systems also exhibit the jerk factor, such as Strange Attractors. These systems are neither random nor predictable but ebb and flow in cyclical patterns around a core or attractor. A biological organism's population may grow and grow to an enormous size yet may crash the following year to a fraction of what it was. A butterfly flapping it's wings in Brazil may cause a tornado in Japan.



Right click/Play to play video