MATTHIJS MUNNIK

Microscopic Opera

Les micro-organismes peuvent-ils aussi être des artistes? Comment notre relation à ces créatures change-t-elle, après qu’elles sont vues dans un contexte artistique et théâtral? À la recherche d’un micro-organisme qui aurait les qualités d’un interprète, j’ai été présenté à C. elegans; un petit ver, de moins d’un millimètre de longueur, qui se déplaçait aussi élégant que son nom l’indique et la première créature à avoir séquencé tout son génome. J’ai été intrigué lorsqu’un chercheur m’a dit que, pour distinguer les vers au microscope, il utilisait différentes mutations qui modifiaient la façon dont ils se déplaçaient. Certains se déplacent en spirale, d’autres ont roulé ou ont des contractions et certains sont devenus morbides obèses à cause de leurs mutations. Dans mon installation, j’ai cinq boîtes de Pétri remplies de cinq vers mutés différents, chacun se déplaçant légèrement différemment. Ces cinq groupes d’interprètes sont filmés avec un microscope USB diffusé en direct sur les cinq écrans. J’ai écrit un logiciel spécial qui suit les vers et traduit leurs mouvements en sons, faisant d’eux les interprètes non avertis de la musique dans le monde macroscopique au-dessus de leurs têtes. Alors que les chercheurs sont presque comme des dieux pour ces vers impuissants, les contrôlant de leur première à leur dernière division cellulaire , j’espérais donner aux vers le pouvoir de nous affecter également dans notre monde.

ANDY LOMAS

Morphogenetic Creations
Created by a mathematician, digital artist and Emmy award winning supervisor of computer generated effects – Andy Lomas, Morphogenetic Creations is a collection of works that explore the nature of complex forms that can be produced by digital simulation of growth systems. These pieces start with a simple initial form which is incrementally developed over time by adding iterative layers of complexity to the structure.The aim is to create structures emergently: exploring generic similarities between many different forms in nature rather than recreating any particular organism. In the process he is exploring universal archetypal forms that can come from growth processes rather than top-down externally engineered design.Programmed using C++ with CUDA, the series use a system of growth by deposition: small particles of matter are repeatedly deposited onto a growing structure to build incrementally over time. Rules are used to determine how new particles are created, and how they move before being deposited. Small changes to these rules can have dramatic effects on the final structure, in effect changing the environment in which the form is grown. To create these works, Andy uses the GPU as a compute device rather than as a display device. All the data is held in memory on the GPU and various kernel functions are called to do things like apply forces to the cells, make cells split, and to render the cells using ray-tracing. The simulations and rendering for each of the different animated structures within this piece take about 12 hours to run, Andy explains. By the end of the simulations there are over 50,000,000 cells in each structure.The Cellular Forms use a more biological model, representing a simplified system of cellular growth. Structures are created out of interconnected cells, with rules for the forces between cells, as well as rules for how cells accumulate internal nutrients. When the nutrient level in a cell exceeds a given threshold the cell splits into two, with both the parent and daughter cells reconnecting to their immediate neighbours. Many different complex organic structures are seen to arise from subtle variations on these rules, creating forms with strong reminiscences of plants, corals, internal organs and micro-organisms.

FEDERICO DIAZ

geometric death frequency 141

The title of the piece is a pun that, with irony, alludes to the exceeding of tradition, irreconcilable dichotomy between life and death in a sculpture made, provocatively, by lifeless forms“, adds Diaz. “The line between life and none-life is more fleeing than we usually think: think about a virus that attacks a complex organism and reproduces in the same way as a micro-organism, even though it’s only an agglomerated of lifeless molecules: a natural crystal that, even though is a stone, can be born and undergo a fascinated process of growth that mimes perfectly the ways of an organic life“.

Teresa van Dongen

Electric Life
Teresa van Dongen explores the specific bacteria as a means to generate electricity for domestic use. Electric Life is the latest translation in Dongen’s ongoing exploration for alternative and natural sources of energy and light. The light installation is entirely powered by micro-organisms that have electrons as a waste product.