Monday, March 12, 2007

... there are about ten times as many bacteria as human cells in the body, and most of them have a gallery opening this weekend

From We Make Money Not Art:

Bacterial Orchestra is a self-organizing evolutionary musical organism made of audio cells. Every cell -consisting of microphone and a loudspeaker- listens to its surroundings and picks up sounds trying to play them back in sync with what it hears. It can be the background noise, people talking or sound played by other cells. Every cell is simple, but together they create a complex whole. Every cell is born with a unique set of characteristics (its DNA) that control the way it will react to sound. If it’s not fit enough, the cell dies and is reborn with a new DNA ....
There's also Andy Gracie's autoinducer_Ph-1 (cross cultural chemistry) bio-artificial ecosystem for growing rice:
The installation features an assemblage of pond-like structures, electronics, laboratory and hydroponic equipment designed to probe into and interfere with the symbiotic relationship between the cyanobacteria Anabaena and the water fern Azolla. Notions of data and information systems inherent in the organic protagonists of the installation, and how they may be augmented, are realised by a synthetic software-based bacteria that interacts with them in its assumed roles of part time symbiont and part time parasite. Video projections which display evolution of the GCS graphic environment, and highly magnified video of Anabaena cultured under a video microscope.

The Generalized Cellular Signaling system, a platform for exploring emergent behaviour and intelligence using cellular systems, is the artificial intelligence model powering the synthetic bacteria. A complete virtual environment exists within GCS where individual cells act independently and communicate with other cells in either a neural fashion using relatively fixed connections, or bacterially, where signals are propagated as molecules through a medium. The installation loops biological, electro-robotic and computing processes together in a literally fertile interaction where the “primal soup” aspect of the Anabaena and Azolla cultures, and fragility of the young rice shoots, contrast strikingly with the computer-generated artificial chemistry molecules of the GCS.

The only problem with using "digital artworks that invite technological sytems to dialog with natural living systems or phenomena" is when idiots with badges think you're a bioterrorist.

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