Egregore Source

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“Égregore source” is an edition that transpose a performance work of the chdh collective on digital media: the source code of the “egregore” performance is made fully available as a software to download or as a USB key. Beyond the documentary aspect, this edition aims to exploit the physical dispersion of this digital support, in order to develop a broadcasting structure for a networked audio visual performance. The multiple personal computers hosting the software constitute a distributed “stage”, where the artists will be able to interpret “egregore” remotely by sending a data flow that activate the provided software. These control data are then stored on a server, and remain accessible and usable with the software.


Egrégore is originally an audio visual performance realized in 2011 that exploits the group movement phenomena. Complex and expressive behaviours are generated and controlled by a computer and transcribed in sound and image. A crowd of particles deploys itself, reorganizes, blends into living structures more or less coherent, evolving from a chaotic movement towards a cohesive group.

Egregore – source is an edition that aims to archive and document the performance: all the elements in égrégore – optimized for a standard personal computer – are supplied: the instrument created for the performance, the software that enabled the creation of the performance and a document of usage, all under a free license and with source code. A digital version is freely downloadable on the P2P networks and a usb key with all this data will as well be available.

This instrument will be played live remotely by chdh the 27 MAY 2015. The distribution of the code allows to use this “physical” dispersion as a new performance vector. The different personal computers used to decode the contents of the key, geographically distributed around the world, united to each other by internet constitute the “stage” where takes place this new representation of égrégore. This event allows all, thanks to the distributed software, to connect at the same moment, to meet and to attend a new version of the performance.


Egregore is entirely made with the Pure Data (pd) free software. Pd is a graphical programming software for music and multimedia real time creation. chdh is involved in Pd development, in particular on the pmpd library dedicated to physical modelling simulation used in this project.


A. Egregore software
B. Algorithm map
C. Source code
D. Open Models, text by Atau Tanaka

Adapted from the egregore performance 2011/2014.
Remotely played the 27 MAY 2015 21:00 CET.
Linux / OSX / Windows

Graphic design by JBP76
Produced by ART KILL ART
with the support of Césaré / iMAL / HS63 / DICREAM / AFIM
AKA 13 – 2015
ltd. ed. 233 ex.


“This edition is a distributed version of the egregore performance. It contains the software that can play this performance on any recent computer, and a gateway that will allow us to remotely control this software for a future event. Two factors have motivated this approach.

The distribution of the code we have developed for this project is symbolic of our approach to free software. Our work is based on the Pure Data software developed by a large community of artists and independent developers, so it seems natural to be part of this philosophy of knowledge sharing, in order to democratize most of these tools and associated creations.

This code is freely usable by everyone, whatever the context. Artists, researchers, teachers can make their own the content, methods used in the creation and audio and video synthesis technics developed. Full transparency is both a mode of distribution and a concrete proposal on an alternative model of existence of the artistic works.

The second factor is the desire to offer a distant performance: egregore is a live performance, and distribution of a software removes this aspect. The objective is to make an event a few months after the release. Everyone can launch the software, and they receive in real time through the Internet, the data controlling the instrument. The rendering is made on each computer of the audience, in very high quality. The rendering will not be fixed since the generativity of the code causes slight differences in the behaviour of the algorithms.

This experience is both individual and collective in order to address a wider audience than in the usual venues: anyone connected to the Internet can attend. It develops and universalized the concept of shared time, basic concept of any performance work.”