Yearning for the Infinite

Max Cooper: Yearning for the Infinite

'Yearning for the Infinite' is a new music work by electronica musician and producer Max Cooper, commissioned by The Barbican as part of their season exploring artificial intelligence and technology, with the premiere taking place on 28th September 2019.

For the premiere presentation we had eight 4k projectors in the main hall at the Barbican, creating a remarkably immersive experience. To create a rich AV show Max collaborated with a number of visual artists, including Memo Akten, Jessica In, Martin Krzywinski, Kevin McGloughlin, Maxime Causeret, Nick Cobby and myself.

The Realm

'The Realm' is a an exploration using visual art and computational design with behavioural science to create aesthetic and immersive collective encounters. Through VR and generative technologies, participants interact with imaginary biological creatures, whose individual and collective actions are driven by rules drawn from real life data (such as shoaling fish and flocking birds). Computational models and player interactions interconnect to create a dynamic co-evolving system, affected by bodily gestures, sounds and social signals.

The project is collaboration led by Heather Barnett together with myself, Heloise Tunstall-Behrens, arebyte gallery, SHOAL group and Kampff Lab.

Behaviour Morphe

'Behaviour Morphe' is a video projection work commissioned by the ZKM for the 2017 Karlsruhe Schlosslichtspiele, which runs through August and September every year in Germany.

The project was conducted as a collaboration together with Zaha Hadid Architects, Max Cooper and Mubbasir Kapadia, to create a 10 minute animation to project onto the baroque castle in the centre of Karlsruhe. To reflect the architecture of the building, the work features variations on Cellular Forms designed to react differently to vertical and horizontal influences.


'Chromos' is an art-science collaboration with Max Cooper using data provided by Csilla Varnai, Peter Fraser, Takashi Nagano and Mikhail Spivakov, scientists at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, UK.

Through the use of data acquired from real cells that indicate points of contact between strands of DNA, the aim of their research is to use simulations to create the best possible guess of the real structure of chromosomes in cells. How the chromosomes fold is believed to influence the activation of different sections of DNA, which in turn dictates the proteins expressed and the function of different cells types.

The work explores the complex dynamic beauty in the Babraham Institute's simulations. These use 'simulating annealing', which emulates the effect of heating the DNA strands to a very high temperature, so that structure is violently moved by thermal noise. Over time the temperature is reduced, and the structure coalesces into a final coherent form.

A version of Chromos using virtual reality has been presented at the 2017 Cambridge Science Festival, London Science Museum Lates, and at the ZKM as part of their 'Open Codes' exhibition.

Chromos features in an edition of Dr. Kat Arney's Naked Genetics podcast.

Zaha Hadid Virtual Reality Experiences

A set of virtual reality experiences designed to accompany the exhibition of Zaha Hadid's paintings at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Provided advice and consultancy for Zaha Hadid VR Group about use of technology, in particular to make sure that the project could be conducted using modular scalable methods that could be repurposed for future exhibitions.


Max Cooper's Emergence is an AV show that explores natural laws and processes, and how they act to yield the universe, us, and the world we live in. The aim of this collaboration was to create visual work for the section of the show that explores the emergence of multicellularity, and features early versions of Hybrid Forms.

Imagery from the Aggregation series was also used for the artwork for the accompanying 'Emergence' and 'Emergence Remixed' albums.

More information about Max Cooper's Emergence


Official music video for Max Cooper's 'Seething', from his 'Human' album, featuring both Cellular Forms and Plantlike Forms.

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