ReBioGeneSys: Origins of Life

  • ©ISEA2015: 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art, Adam Brown, ReBioGeneSys: Origins of Life
  • ©ISEA2015: 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art, Adam Brown, ReBioGeneSys: Origins of Life
  • ©ISEA2015: 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art, Adam Brown, ReBioGeneSys: Origins of Life
  • Photo 2&3: Video still from Vimeo

Symposium:


Presentation Title:

  • ReBioGeneSys: Origins of Life

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Abstract:

  • ReBioGeneSys – Origins of Life is a hybrid installation (process) that combines sculpture, chemistry, alchemy and conservation to autonomously create extreme minimal ecosystems capable of autopoetic evolution. ReBioGeneSys utilizes the processes and materials of science to ask fundamental questions about how all life seems to proceed from previous life and yet had to emerge from inorganic materials. Is life something special or is the possibility of life inherent in matter itself? Can the artist’s approach to such questions help to resolve the conundrums that have stymied scientists?
    ReBioGeneSys is a fully functioning scientific experiment capable of being reconfigured into any real or imaginary world, be it Venus, Titan, our prebiotic Earth or Middle Earth. By combining in one set of integrated processes all the research on origins of life by scientists, ReBioGeneSys creates “mashed-­‐up” extreme minimal ecosystems theoretically capable of forming the self-­‐organizing chemistries necessary to produce semi-­‐living molecules and perhaps even protocells.
    Artistically, ReBioGeneSys draws on the legacy of artists such as the myth of Pygmalion and the attempts of Jacques de Vaucanson to create “living” sculpture. But ReBioGeneSys is the first installation that actually does have the ability to evolve itself. A system that can evolve by means of natural selection must incorporate means of not only producing living matter, but also to select among the matter it produces that which is best adapted to that minimal ecosystem.
    The evolution of ReBioGeneSys is inherent in its materiality and the processes it carries out, independent of the human beings that sculpted it, unaffected by the transience of the audiences that view it. An incarnation of new materialist philosophy that nonetheless is designed to produce a vitalistic outcome, ReBioGeneSys is an artifice designed not to mimic, but to produce nature itself through self-sustaining, ever-recursive autopoesis.


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