. art —

Year created:

2000

Field Guide to Artificial Life on the Web

Field Guide to Artificial Life on the Web looks at two major orders of

weblife. The first is artificial life generated from computation. The

second is the life seen live on webcam transmissions. Both orders depend

on the electronic environment for their existence. The idea of

artificial life is not new. It's prefigured in the myths of Pygmalion,

the golem and Dr. Frankenstein's monster. Now programmers have evolved

technologies that can realize this dream. Their artificial beings are

made from strings of code that follow dedicated protocols. Creatures

such as Boids and Floys appear on the screen as patterns that twitch and

glide, blink and swarm. The most independent members of the group are

computer viruses. These entities make their way through the web,

reproducing and mutating as they go along. On the flip side of the

binary coin are live webcam webcasts. These semi-random samples of

ordinary life appear on the screen transformed by the mediations of

electronic technology. Webcams remake reality into artificial life. In

the myth of the Garden of Eden two trees are hived off for special

consideration. When humans connected with the Tree of Knowledge, history

began. What will happen when we get involved with the Tree of Life.


Field Guide to Artificial Life on the Web looks at two major orders of

weblife. The first is artificial life generated from computation. The

second is the life seen live on webcam transmissions.