Artificial Nature is a research project and an evolving series of art installations by Haru Ji and Graham Wakefield.
The installation presents a programmed, self-sustaining, digital ecosystem as an immersive environment, with organisms that consume, grow, metabolize, reproduce and respond to activities within an endless fluid environment. An artificial nature is not a simulation however, it is a new realm with its own logic, life forms and relational dynamics. This world does not live alone: the child-like curiosity that inspires our work is extended to the viewers, whose movements and actions influence the ecosystem as it unfolds, allowing world, organisms and viewers to partake in each other's lived time.
"The relational potential of digital art is further exemplified in the collaborative environmental projections of 3-D sculptor, Haru Ji, and composer, Graham Wakefield. Together, they have created the immersive installation, Artificial Nature: Fluid Space, populated by vibrant, interactive organisms. Artificial Nature is not a recorded medium like video. Instead, it is a programmed, self-sustaining, digital ecosystem with organisms that consume, grow, metabolize, reproduce and respond to activities within a dark expansive environment. Nor is Artificial Nature entirely self-contained; the organisms are also programmed to respond, as though caught in the currents of wind or water, to the movement of viewers. The reactions and sounds of the brightly colored organisms to these movements instill in the viewers a child-like curiosity, encouraging them to personally interact with the fluid environment. Furthermore, Artificial Nature brings to mind Artificial Intelligence (AI) except, rather than simulating intelligence, Ji and Graham create an entirely new realm with its own logic, life forms and relational dynamics."
Matthew Garrison, SIGGRAPH ASIA 2009 Art Gallery catalogue
Artificial Nature has been taken part in numerous exhibitions, including SIGGRAPH Asia (Yokohama, Japan, 2009), Seoul Olympic Museum of Art, (Seoul, Korea, 2009), Central Academy of Fine Art Museum (Beijing, China, 2009) as well as continuously at the MAT AlloSphere (Santa Barbara, USA), and has been presented at several conferences including the International Symposium of Electronic Arts (Singapore, 2008) and EvoWorkshops (Tubingen, Germany, 2009).