I’ve been following a thread of research on artificial evolution, i.e. evolution simulated with software genomes, and its application to making creative work, for well over a decade. The topic has re-emerged in my work over the past year or two, and remains as an open inquiry.
This post is about some related pieces made during the last 12 months. They use my software evolution system to provide the raw materials for the composition.
This linoprint is made from mutations of an artificial “line drawing” genome that draws 20-sided polygons, taken through several generations.
What started as an almost-circle has ended in distorted shapes that look (accidentally!) anthropomorphic when laid on top of each other. The coloured areas, which show the original “genesis” drawings are chine collé over the linoprint.
I used the same artificial evolution system to lean more into the “creature-ness” of these forms for a series of smaller linoprints, again overlays of multiple mutated drawings starting from a progenitor drawing of a circular form seen on the bottom layer, which represents the earliest generation.
About a year later I returned to my simulation to provide the basis for making a 3D drawing on Perspex using glass paint. The forms are similar to the earlier linoprint pieces, but this time I reproduced and mutated my simulated genomes through three generations stacked one on the next, each one more complex than the preceding one: a visual demonstration of the effects of evolution and the potential for complexity from very basic building blocks.
Take a tour through the work in this video:
I’d like to make a larger version of this work: a much larger stack of simulated geological time tracing the evolution of forms from simple “cells” to complex shapes.