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Blueprint – Pairing genetics and code, the blueprints of artificial and natural systems

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Created by United Visual Artists, Blueprint is an installation designed to explore the relationship and parallels between natural and artificial systems – creating a visual composition that uses mathematical principles of logic that underpin life.

Exploring analogies between DNA and computer code, UVA have created the series; works that pair genetics and code as the blueprints of artificial and natural systems. As the work slowly changes over time, patterns fluctuate between varying degrees of complexity. Blueprint uses the basic concepts of evolution to create an ever-transitioning image. With cells literally transferring their genes to their adjoining others, colour flows like paint across the canvas.

The team explored the similarities of DNA and computer source code; as respectively the blueprint of either organism or computer programme. Each cell on Blueprint’s canvas houses a digital ‘organism’, a pixel that responds to the current local conditions around him, and who mates with other offspring, passing on their genes. Their colour reflects their genetics, and as conditions change and mutation occurs, using RGBW LEDs, different colourful compositions flow across the canvas.

The install was prototyped using Processing with the final growth system written straight into D3 and deployed as C++ to custom hardware. Dimensions: 1200 x 2400mm.

Project PageUnited Visual Artists

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  • Beard Dough

    Back when I was in middle school, I was obsessed with artificial life and cellular automata thanks to a plethora of java applets and free hosting space for university professors with time to tinker. It’s been really neat to see how things circle back into vogue only this time it’s the artist rather than the researcher. The intense reduction of cost (time and monetary) required to work with hardware/software combined with free educational information has really opened the doors, once only ingressed by academics, to those with an eye for artistic expression. Although the context for these digital works is very similar to their humble Oracle-powered beginnings. It’s the ubiquitousness of technology and its effect on the every-man that’s forcing artists to come to grips with the digital, harness it, and turn it into an increasingly relevant medium for their work. Truly wonderful stuff!