Douglas Irving Repetto’s (founder of Dorkbot) works include sculpture, installation, performance, recordings, and software with an emphasis on audio / music. One work which particularily caught my eye on his site is Crash and Bloom which emulates a behaviour (called Crash and Bloom) occuring in many biological systems.
Crash and Bloom is an electronic sculpture that exhibits emergent behavior similar to the “crash and bloom” cycles experienced by many biological systems. The sculpture is a set of forty-two small plastic boxes that are connected to one another via short cables. The behavior of each box is very simple: if the box receives a “ping” on its input, it turns on an internal light and plays a short tone. The box then passes the ping on to whichever boxes are connected to its output. However, if a box receives a second ping before it is finished responding to the first one, it will “die” and will not pass either ping along. Each time a box receives a ping, the length of its response gets a bit shorter, until it gets so short that it resets and becomes long again.
For more projects by Douglas Irving Repetto see the artists website.