Bricks, Light & Shade

A behavioural and aesthetic exploration of computationally generated artificial life forms

Royal College of Art, 2016

Which are the most essential bricks that make up life? When do we start seeing things as being alive? What are the traits that make something look alive? The American computer scientist Christopher Langton once coined the term "Artificial Life" back in the late 1980s - in his essay titled "A New Definition of Artificial Life" he would state:

«[...] whereas Biology is the study of naturally occurring animate objects, Artificial Life is the study of man-made animate objects.»

"Animate" meaning the fact of exhibiting life-like characteristics, open to individual interpretation of what that might exactly be.

Exhibited at RCA Work In Progress Show in January 2016 as an installation consisting of real-time simulations running on three separate screens and multiple prints, this work would try to raise questions regarding human relationship towards synthetic life forms in strongly abstracted aesthetic language. While reducing the scope of investigation to simple movements and conceptionally simplifying morphology and environment, light could be shed on the specific aspects that would make mere objects "animate" ones - like locomotion, reaction to stimuli and social behaviour in groups.