<<Life Spacies>> s an interaction and communication space,
where visitors located at a distance from each other can interact through
evolutionary forms and images. " Life Spacies" enables visitors
to integrate themselves into a three-dimensional complex virtual world
of artificial life organisms that react to the visitors' body movements,
motions, and gestures. The artificial life creatures also communicate with
each other and thereby create an artificial universe, where real and artificial
life are closely inter-related through interaction and exchange. A "
Life Spacies" Web page allows people all over the world to interact
with the system as well: by simply typing and sending an email message
to the " Life Spacies" Web site, one can create one's own artificial
creature. The creature then starts to live in the " Life Spacies"
environment at ICC, where on-site visitors can directly interact with it.
Artificial Life Species
The artificial creatures are created in two different ways:
||By incoming international email messages, which are translated into
a genetic code for the various creatures
- one message creates one creature
- complex messages create complex creatures
- different levels of complexity represent different species
||By the creatures themselves through reproduction and genetic exchange
- reproduction helps the creatures propagate their genotype : within the
system and can help form groups of different species
<<Life Spacies>> is based upon the idea of evolutionary
design, which means that the design of the creature really depends on the
interaction of the visitors and the evolutionary process itself, rather
than the artists' pre-design. Messages sent from people all over the world
and the reproduction and evolution of the creatures themselves decide the
Thus, one can not really predict how the creatures will evolve and what
kinds of creatures will appear in " Life Spacies" . It will all
depend on how many people send messages, how complex these messages are,
and how the creatures reproduce among themselves in the " Life Spacies"
environment at ICC. As the exhibition will be held for one year, the commission
of " Life Spacies" for ICC is therefore a great opportunity to
see how the piece and the species will evolve over time.
Non-Deterministic and Multilayered Interaction
<<Life Spacies>> s a system where interaction, inter-relation,
and exchange happens on a human-human, human-creature, creature-creature
and human-environment, creature-environment, and life-artificial life level.
There are two types of human interaction involved in <<Life Spacies>>:
1) Creating creatures:
users all over the world send email messages, which then build the genetic
codes of the creatures
2) Interacting with the creatures at ICC:
the on-site visitors' gestures and body movements will be tracked and will
influence the creatures' behavior:
the creatures may exhibit curiosity and come to the visitor; they may become
frightened if the visitor is too aggressive; they may be killed if the
visitor steps on them; or, the visitor may also help them reproduce.
As the interaction rules are non-deterministic and multilayered, an open
system is created where each entity, whether a real life or an artificial
life, whether present (at ICC) or virtually present (the users on the net,
or the creatures as code), is regarded as an equally important entity of
a complex life-like system.
Art as a Living System
The universe, according to BOHR is an indivisible dynamic whole with
parts essentially inter-related on a subatomic level. Significant is the
dual character of the subatomic particles; they are two complementary descriptions
of reality, both of which are partly true. Based upon the insight that
interaction and the inter-relation between entities are driving forces
in the structuring of life, our work attempts to investigate interaction
and the creative process as such. Creation is no longer understood as the
expression of the artist's inner creativity or ingenium" (according
to HEGEL), but becomes itself an intrinsically dynamic process, based upon
the interaction between the human observer, his/her consciousness and the
evolutionary dynamic and complex image processes of the work, which in
turn are based upon principles of artificial life, evolution, and dynamic
(=Art As a Living System").
" Life Spacies"
(an evolutionary communication and interaction environment) supported by:
ATR-Media Integration and Communications Research Lab, Kyoto
Profile of Christa SOMMERER and Laurent MIGNONNEAU
Profile of Christa SOMMERER
Austrian. Born in Gmunden, Austria, 1964. Studied plant biology at University
of Vienna and art and modern sculpture at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
French. Born in Angouleme, France, 1967. Studied video and computer art
at Academy of Fine Arts Angouleme.
Profile of Laurent MIGNONNEAU$BvI(JFrench. Born in Angoule$B!0(Jme,
France, 1967. Studied video and computer art at Academy of Fine Arts Angoule$B!0(Jme.
SOMMERER and MIGNONNEAU began their collaboration in 1992 at Institute
for New Media at Sta$B!/(Jdelschule, Frankfurt. Recipients: Golden Nica
Award for " A-Volve" Ars Electronica '94 (Linz, Austria, 1994).
Works have been shown internationally. Have also participated in many symposiums.
Collections (selected): Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (1995)
and Ars Electronica Center (Linz, Austria, 1996). Currently artists/scholars
in residence at ATR Media Integration & Communications Research Laboratories
(MIC) in Kyoto.
the Work of Christa SOMMERER and Laurent MIGNONNEAU