Codex Virtualis is an artistic research framework oriented towards the generation of an evolving taxonomic collection of hybrid bacterial-AI organisms. With a subtle echo to the endosymbiotic (a) theory, we propose a symbolic formulation of a style transfer machine learning environment as a host, in which to merge bacterial/archaea time-lapse microscopy footage along with multidimensional cellular automata computational models (b) as endosymbionts, all under the orchestration of an autonomous generative non-adversarial network architecture (c). We aim as a result, to encounter novel algorithmically-driven aesthetic representations, tagged with a unique morphotype and genotype like encoding, and articulated around a speculative narrative encompassing unconventional origins of life on earth and elsewhere.
The project stands on the idea of cooperation to expand on the concept of intelligence by including machine and non-human agents into its configuration. And intends to articulate new schemes for the social imaginary to picture life outside the planet, and to better appreciate life on earth.
How can complexity outburst from simple dynamical systems when represented using convolutional neural networks?
What forms can arise from training creative algorithms with pattern-forming bacteria in spatially explicit environments and extremophile morphology modeling?
Two possible outcomes for presenting this project, which will be determined by the Covid-19 situation are:
a. A site-specific immersive visual installation.
b. An interactive online web/mobile site/app.
In both cases displaying the complete organism collection, extensive process description, and DIY tutorials for people to replicate in a citizen science manner.
Our motivation when applying for this residency resides in the possibility to incorporate our in-progress art & science project Speculative Communications [a], with research on extremophiles and complexity modeling studied at Seti.
We are planning to create an image database by combining our collected visual data from bacterial colony growth with extremophile visual data and mathematical models of unicellular life forms collected at Seti, to pre-train a generative non-adversarial network, through style transfer interpolated from the biotic database and the self-organizing autonomous patterns into a continuous cellular automata. We are open for suggestions on other input sources to explore.
We seek to activate a self-generative system, Artificial Intelligence, and algorithmic approximation for generating virtual organism models based on morphology and rule modeling. The system includes a sensorial element, via Computer Vision, which increases its ability to influence the training results by extracting data (morphology, mobility, etc) from each emerging generation. A feedback loop that might add on or remove rules from the cellular automata depending on the behavior of the Generative non -adversarial network. Stacking parameters into a continuous flow of integrative rules to stimulate evolution into the organism models
Some of the essential research questions that we would like to tackle with this project are: how can we generate automated systems focused on the creation of new-to-nature organism models that inhabit the threshold between the biotic and the virtual domain?
The novelty of this development resides in the cross-pollination of algorithms to stimulate a self-generative process and the possibility of influencing a generative non-adversarial network through the interaction between our computer vision (sensorial system) and the behavior of the cellular automata.
We believe this system facilitates not only exploring emergencies between biotic and virtual but, over time, it can also be conditioned to create more specific experiments where we can address questions related to coevolutionary processes. As well as possible explorations on the environmental conditioning on the cellular automata to analyze interactions coming from extremophile emergencies.
The three primordial elements of the full system are described in the following flowchart.
The sources: from which we take characteristics biotic and virtual.
The feedback: to retro control the cellular automata by integration of new rules.
The virtual life generated: represented in a taxonomic way.
Instalación odoro-comestible que activa la memoria por medio de la exposición olfativa a tierra húmeda. La pieza sintetiza el petricor: el olor que desprende la tierra cuando la lluvia cae en suelo seco. En el proceso, ciertas plantas exudan un aceite absorbido por rocas arcillosas, que al entrar en contacto con la lluvia, es liberado junto con el compuesto geosmina—subproducto metabólico de ciertas actinobacterias—, la fuente del distintivo olor.
En un cuarto oscuro que minimiza la estimulación del resto de los sentidos, un aparato de destilación por arrastre con vapor desdobla los hidrolatos del petricor, que al contacto con el aire, se impregnan en un gel capaz de solidificarse. A su lado, una bioimpresora produce esferas de este material con el propósito de ser ingeridas por el espectador. Al momento de introducirse en la boca, la esfera se desintegra, libera el olor y viaja a través de la faringe hasta el bulbo olfativo, que tiene dos conexiones directas a con á reas del cerebro fuertemente implicadas con las emociones y la memoria, que además no se activan de forma tan inmediata con información visual, auditiva o táctil: la amígdala y el hipotálamo. Al finalizar la experiencia, se le pide a cada espectador compartir esa memoria que generó el aroma y se produce un registro vivo de la pieza.
Pieza comisionada por ivan edeza para la muestra ” sinestencia olfativa” CDMX
Topologies of Desire is a technochamanistic performance created with brain readings from a group of therapist and shamans converted into three-dimensional disks. A laser system designed to scan them reads the topol- ogy on the data discs and converts them in to sound. The performance explores the psychoacoustic use of sound to provoke extrasensory experiences based on binaural rhythms and musical structures from Mexican indige- nous traditions.
Presented at INDEX MUAC (UNIVERSITARY MUSEUM OF COMTEMPORARY ART) ESPACIO X CCE ( CULTURAL CENTER OF SPAIN IN MEXICO) AND ALUMNOS47 MOBILE LIBRARY
Dimensions is a brain activity sonification and visualisation system using topographic values from energy pointers. The main technique is programmed in OpenFrameworks, Supercollider and Puredata to map every electrode from an EEG headset and represent the dominant frequencies searching for possible power, phase or trigger correlations.
This system enables the user to be aware of the displacement of energies moving on the brain. One can notice correlation such as symmetry on electrodes of the same order, same frequency domains in all electrodes, or asymmetrical correlation on left and right side of the brain.
Second price at the Hack the Brain congress, WAAG SOCIETY, AMSTERDAM.
The term sensory substitution refers to a non-invasive technique introduced by neuroscientist Paul Bach-y-Rita in the 60’s who attends restoring senses damaged using hybrid interfaces brain-machine to redirect certain characteristics of a sensory modality to another and using the adaptive capacities of the brain to replace perceptual categories. He suggests that while the brain and its connection with the environment operate properly, peripheral sensory systems are secondary in the exercise of global cognition.
The aim of the prototype of sensory substitution is to allow the brain to create a mapping of space through sound and electrotáctiles sensations. And thus consider expanding human capabilities and challenge the Aristotelian conception that postulates five senses with specific functions clearly separated from each other.
In this project we are using OpenCV to detect blobs from a video camara attached to the Raspberry Pi, this detections is later tranform into sound using SuperCollider and SC.VO.3.1 for python and electrical impulses using GPIOS.
Action potential is a research project on Neuroesthetics, a recent subdiscipline of empirical aesthetics, that studies the possible relationships existing between art perception and the bioelectric signals produced in the brain in terms of active listening and observation.
The first experiments took place during the commemorative exhibition of poet and art critic Octavio Paz at Palacio de Bellas Artes in México. The experiment consisted in recording the bioelectrical activity of 20 volunteers of different ages and backgrounds under active observation of one of the art pieces, active listening of a text by Octavio Paz concerning the piece of art and the two stimuli simultaneously, using a wireless brain-computer interface. Once the sampling was completed we converted the signals in to sound using the OSC protocol in Pure Data, and in to computer graphics through Processing with the de- sign of an algorithm for data interpretation.
Action potential is a multidisciplinary approach intended to assist the exploration of patterns during the data analysis under the aesthetic experience. In collaboration with Erick Fernando Gonzaález Castañeda and Alejandro Antonio Torres García directed by Luis Villaseñor Pineda Ph.D and Carlos Reyes García Ph.D of the National Institute of Astrophysics, optics and electronics (INAOE) for interpretive advice and spectral analysis of the recorded samplings.