“The Persephone Project: Technologically Convergent Artificial Ecosystem” presented by Armstrong


Session Title:

  • Large Displays in Urban Spaces and Elsewhere - Gigantic: Mediation Beyond Surface

Presentation Title:

  • The Persephone Project: Technologically Convergent Artificial Ecosystem




  • Technological convergence between biological and digital computing is enabling new forms of computation such as natural computing and programmable life-like matter. Persephone is a real world project, which is part of the Icarus Interstellar portfolio of projects that propose to construct a starship research platform in orbit inside 100 years. The aim is to build an artificial ecology for the starship that will indefinitely support its community, starting with the development of artificial soils from which both new life-forms and cities may emerge. Persephone takes a bottom-up, design-led, experimental approach towards this challenge by producing a range of prototypes that can be explored in terrestrial contexts. This far-sighted strategy explores how a range of modalities may be converged through a technical practice enabled through forms of artistic research that brings together digital and biological systems. Are these fusions new forms of ecology, life, community or cities? What degree of programmability, design, creative expression and control can be exerted in convergent systems?
    Drawing on cutting-edge, interdisciplinary, experimental research practices, this panel will consider how arts research can help extend an innovation platform that draws together digital and ecological interfaces with a range of other media that are likely to produce experiences that are increasingly lifelike. Expert interdisciplinary researchers lead a debate that ranges from how we may evaluate and work with new kinds of computing – to the unique contribution of artistic research in the design and evolution of hypercomplex systems.

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