Trigonometria/ Trigonometry (2017- in progress)

Trigonometry is a video-tile mural made with Cellular Automaton. This work was inspired by the tile murals of the Brazilian artist Athos Bulcão, that are an emblematic part of Brasilia, the city where I was born and grew up.


In the 1950s, Athos collaborated with the architect Oscar Niemeyer for the construction of Brazil’s new capital. Brasilia was an icon of the political and cultural modernization of Brazil. Integrating art and architecture, the artist worked extensively using tile, a traditional material introduced to Brazil via the Portuguese. One of the main features of Bulcão’s walls is its non-uniform rhythm. This feature was a consequence of his artistic strategy of “open poetic”, that is, where the artist designed a few tile modules, which were then arranged in a non-periodic manner by construction workers, who were an active participant in the creation of the piece.



The purpose of ‘Trigonometry’ is to use digital media to revisit the formal elements and the “open poetic” strategy of Bulcão’s work. The procedure of its production is based in cellular automaton (CA) behavior, where a grid of cells in different states evolves through discrete steps, according to a set of local rules (defined by the states of the neighboring cells).



The mural is composed of two levels of tessellation. The higher level is a grid consisting of tiles in three states, A, B, and C. In the lower level; each tile has a grid of triangular cells that can be either blue or white.

     I. Level of tiles 

In each generation, the state of each tile (A, B or C) will depend on its previous state and the states of its neighbors. The constraint imposed is that cells A and C never touch each other. This restriction will be satisfied with the rules presented in this figure on the side.

    II. Lower level

The tessellation inside each tile is composed of 4 types of triangles: a, b, c and d, which can be either blue or white. By following the local rules presented in the following figure, the display may produce two patterns, one primarily white, and the other perceived as blue. When the higher level cells of the tiles change its state, the blue will “grow” over the white (or the opposite) to match the state change on each tile.


As a consequence of the “open poetics” provided by CA, this method limits my artistic control over the configuration of the mural. However, there is a difference from Bulcão's work, in which the modules produce an entirely random arrangement; in this piece, the CA rule over the TV induces the formation of contiguous transition inside a dynamic geometric pattern.

New work coming soon!


Disrael Camargo Neves da Cunha- Programer 



Concordia University





2017- In process