Tim Knapen Work Contact
Godmode x
Godmode, 2007

Godmode is an imaginative interactive installation that allows you to play God by bringing to life any creature you draw. The installation consists of a hacked photocopier, some paper, black markers and colored pencils. Using the markers and pencils, you can draw any creature you can come up with. The photocopier is then used to bring your creature to life. Just put the drawing under the lid, press 'copy', and 5 seconds later, your creature is swimming around between the creatures that other visitors drew.

Inside of the photocopier, there's a camera, a beamer and a computer which runs custom made software that analyses and animates your drawing.

Special thanks to Nashuatec and Steven Knapen.

Technical Details:
Software built in C++ with Open Frameworks 
Micro controllers programmed with Arduino

Biotopia, Le Pavillon (KIKK), Namur, Belgium
Play!, Cité de la Mode et du Design, Paris, France
De TonTon Club, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
KIKK Festival, Namur, Belgium
Carnivale dei Bambini, Giardini, Venice, Italy
After the Bit Rush, MU, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Rode Hond Festival, Leuven, Belgium
Tweetakt festival, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Inter-cool 3.0, HMKV im Dortmunder U, Dortmund, Germany
Funky Pixels, Ars Electronica Museum, Linz, Austria
Dream Creatures, MediaLab, Enschede, The Netherlands
Cinekid festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ars Electronica Festival, Linz, Austria
‘Magic Moments’, Net.Culture.Space, Vienna, Austria
Integrated, DeSingel, Antwerp, Belgium
BRONKS festival, Brussels, Belgium
The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience, NICC, Antwerp, Belgium


1. Theo Janssen - Strandbeest

Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist. In 1990, he began building large mechanisms out of PVC that are able to move on their own and, collectively, are entitled, Strandbeest. The kinetic sculptures appear to walk. He strives to equip his creations with their own artificial intelligence so they may avoid obstacles such as the sea, by changing course when detected.

2. Vaucanson's duck

An automaton is a self-operating machine, or a machine or control mechanism designed to automatically follow a predetermined sequence of operations, or respond to predetermined instructions. Some automata, such as bellstrikers in mechanical clocks, are designed to give the illusion to the casual observer that they are operating under their own power.

3. Delaunay Triangulation

In mathematics and computational geometry, a Delaunay triangulation for a given set of discrete points in a plane is a triangulation such that no point is inside the circumcircle of any triangle.

The Delaunay triangulation algorithm was used in Godmode to analyze the shape of an arbitrary drawing. Using triangle made it possible for the software to deal with the drawings in terms of surfaces rather than contours. 

4. Antropomorphism

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology.

5. Emergent behaviour

Emergence is a phenomenon whereby larger entities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities such that the larger entities exhibit properties the smaller entities do not exhibit. Emergence is central in theories of complex systems. 

Famous examples of emergence in nature are snowflake crystals, flocking in birds and termite mounds.