The installation consists of a projection of a virtual world with a navigator, video and audio interfaces. The virtual world is a visualization of information flow in open systems interweaving geological, physico-chemical and biological strata. Within this world virtual lifeforms evolve and grow. Spectators can witness, control and create beautiful, complex and generative patterns evolving from the behaviors of the species, as the organisms in turn interact with their dynamic environment. As a spectator gives his/her inputs through the touch screen or other sensors, such as a microphone, a infra-red camera, he/she may change local fields of the environment, landscape or physical laws, and actively observe how the feedback systems produce new behavioral patterns.
Artificial Nature has been developed using Max/MSP/Jitter and the LuaAV software environments. LuaAV supported the rapid development of an interactive, audiovisual virtual world, while the embedded language Lua is naturally suited to real-time simulation because of its extensible, dynamic nature and efficient garbage collection.
With special thanks to Marcos Novak for having opened many inspirational doors, to JoAnn Kuchera-Morin for unrelenting support and passion for going beyond, and to Wesley Smith for his incredible real-time graphics programming in LuaAV. Financial support gratefully received from the UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC), the AlloSphere Research Group, and the Media Arts & Tehnology graduate program.