Driessens & Verstappen

Breed
Breed (1995-2007) is a computer program that uses artificial evolution to grow very detailed sculptures. The purpose of each growth is to generate by cell division from a single cell a detailed form that can be materialised. On the basis of selection and mutation a code is gradually developed that best fulfils this “fitness” criterion and thus yields a workable form. The designs were initially made in plywood. Currently the objects can be made in nylon and in stainless steel by using 3D printing techniques. This automates the whole process from design to execution: the industrial production of unique artefacts.
Computers are powerful machines to harness artificial evolution to create visual images. To achieve this we need to design genetic algorithms and evolutionary programs. Evolutionary programs allow artefacts to be “bred”, rather than designing them by hand. Through a process of mutation and selection, each new generation is increasingly well adapted to the desired “fitness” criteria. Breed is an example of such software that uses Artificial Evolution to generate detailed sculptures. The algorithm that we designed is based on two different processes: cell-division and genetic evolution.

Thomas Hirschhorn

توماس هيرشهورن
托马斯·赫塞豪恩
תומס הירשהורן
トーマス·ヒルシュホルン
abschlag

Thomas Hirschhorn’s “Abschlag” installation, which occupies the first room on the main floor, offers a lesson in how not to engage with the Russian milieu: the Swiss artist constructed part of a typical Petersburg apartment block out of cardboard inside the full-height space, ripped off its façade, and deposited the refuse at its base, revealing shabby interiors lined with original avant-garde masterpieces (on loan from the nearby Russian Museum) by the likes of Malevich and El Lissitky. The references allude to a politically radical Russian past; the construction debris acts as a metaphor for history. Though Hirschhorn suggests a recovery of the revolutionary communist spirit of the 1920s, he falls prey to a historically revisionist fetish: citing the Russian avant-garde as a generative point for vanguard culture in the West, and offering it as a source for renewed progressivism in Russia. Hirschhorn seems woefully unaware of the Putin government’s branding campaign, one that aims to sell the Russian avant-guard as a nationalist movement in line with the regime’s own values (perhaps he didn’t watch the Sochi opening ceremony). Hirschhorn ultimately proves Zhilayev right — with its political pretenses, “Abschlag” aspires to make a grand gesture against conservatism, but fails because its critique has already been co-opted..
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SIMON CHRISTOPH KRENN

Parasitic endeavours
Simon Christoph Krenn’s 3D animation, Parasitic Endeavours, initially started out as the creative wanting to explore distorted perspectives on human evolution. “I think my main inspiration came from nature and its creative forces themselves. I used to study zoology at university and was especially fascinated by evolutionary biology and the development of animal morphologies. I realized the video’s strange and somehow creepy potential and decided to push the animation even more into this direction.”

Jon McCormack

Colourfield
Colourfield is an evolutionary ecosystem of colour. Colour agents try to exist in a simple universe by producing colours that are suited to their environment. This environment is determined by the other agents and the colours they produce. Entering into complex feedback cycles, Colourfield presents an evolving palette of shifting colours. Different configurations emerge based on the strategies the ecosystem discovers for co-existance and co-dependency. Harmonious configurations often remain stable for a short while, before eventually being replaced by new relations, better able to survive in the ever shifting environment.

Haru Ji and Graham Wakefield

Infranet
Infranet is a generative artwork realized through a population of artificial lifeforms with evolutionary neural networks, thriving upon open geospatial data of the infrastructure of the city as their sustenance and canvas. Born curious, these agents form spatial networks through which associations spread in complex contagions. In this city as organism, the data grounds an unbounded, decentralized, open-ended, and unsupervised system. Non-human beings flourish in this environment by learning, discovering, communicating, self-governing, and evolving. The invitation is to witness, through immersive visualization and sonficiation of this complex adaptive system, how a new morphologic landscape emerges as a possible but speculative city.

LARS VON TRIER

لارس فون ترير
拉斯·冯·特里尔
라스 폰 트리에
לארס פון טרייר
ラース·フォン·トリアー
Ларс фон Триер
melancholia
Truth be told, the best thing about Melancholia is its title. In an era where pop therapy abounds, true melancholy and its affinity to beauty needs to be rehabilitated—and of course differentiated from the more banal categories of “mental illness” and “depression.” In a pivotal phase of German Romanticism exemplified by Novalis’ poetry, the quintessentially melancholy category of “longing” is linked with a quest for the “unattainable.” Yet there’s also a tangibly utopian element to Novalis’ melancholy, personified by his dictum, “All representation rests on making present that which is not present.” Or as Max Blechman puts it in his essay “The Revolutionary Dream of Early German Romanticism, the Romantics pantheistic faith points to how art and religion are fundamentally one and the same activity. For is not art the desire to see the real in the ideal, to enliven the ideal behind the real, to transform unconscious idealism into conscious idealism—and is this not done through faith in the ideal?”

xenobots

Xenobots – the First “Living Robots”
Researchers used the Deep Green supercomputer cluster and an evolutionary algorithm to design new life-forms that could achieve an assigned task. Then they built them by combining together different biological tissues from Xenopus laevis embryos, hence the name Xenobots.
Credit:A scalable pipeline for designing reconfigurable organisms
Sam Kriegman, Douglas Blackiston, Michael Levin, and Josh Bongard
PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1910837117

Olle Cornéer and Martin Lübcke

Public Epidemic Nº 1 (Bacterial Orchestra)
Олле и Любке
FILE FESTIVAL

“Bacterial Orchestra” (2006), a self-organizing evolutionary musical organism where each cell lives on an Apple iPhone (it can be ported to any mobile phone, but the iPhone was chosen because it’s popular and the centralized App Store makes it easy for the epidemic to spread). That way, hundreds of people can gather with their mobiles and together create a musical organism. It will evolve organically in the same way as “Bacterial Orchestra”, but it will also be much more infectious. The installation and the ideas behind it can be traced from different areas such as chaos theory, self-organizing systems and neural networks. The goal? A world wide sound pandemic, of course.