College of Music

University of Colorado Boulder

Swarm Wall

Monday 7/2

In the true spirit of collaboration, a month-long summer exhibit at the University of Colorado Boulder Art Museum will feature a dynamic new media composition based on innovative robotics technology.  Called “Swarm Wall,” the large-scale interactive piece displays changing fields of color, light, and sound that are driven by a distributed form of artificial intelligence.

As many as 70 intelligent “nodes” behind the piece create a swarming effect when they detect movement and communicate it with one another. The nodes exhibit swarm behavior because each performs actions solely based on its own plan and the actions of its immediate neighbors.

The 42 by 12-foot installation is the first product borne of a new art and technology research group on campus. The group was launched by faculty members Michael Theodore of music, who received a $44,000 grant from CU’s Innovative Seed Grant Program last year to support the collaboration, and Nikolaus Correll of computer science.

“Swarm Wall” is one of four pieces in “Michael Theodore: Field Theory,” an exhibition of kinetic sculpture, sound, lighting and works on paper, running June 15 through July 14 at the CU Art Museum. The exhibition is free and open to the public. For additional information, visitors may call the CU Art Museum at 303-492-8300 or go to

Swarm Wall