Arts Program


ALife XV – Artist in Residence Program


Ken Rinaldo is internationally recognized for his interactive installations blurring the boundaries between the organic and inorganic and speaking to the co-evolution between living and evolving technological cultures. His work interrogates fuzzy boundaries where hybrids arise.  Biological, machine and algorithmic species and their unique intelligences are mixing in unexpected ways and we need to better understand the complex intertwined ecologies that these semi-living species create. Rinaldo is focused on trans-species communication and researching methods to understand animal, insect and bacterial cultures as models for emergent machine intelligences, as they interact, self organize and co-inhabit the earth.

The ALIFE XV – Artist in Residence Program was sponsored by ISAL.

Abiopoiesis Microbiome


Many have written about the critical juncture of passing 400 PPM (Parts Per Million) of dissolved green house gases, CO2 in our atmosphere and its impacts on global weather uncertainty and warming. This unprecedented 400 PPM now surpassed, has further pushed the conversation about the nature of weather as regards the global concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Machine produced CO2 is one of the primary drivers of recent climate change.  According to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii this is a dangerous number. While contemporary science has indisputably been able to prove the relationship between global warming and CO2 output, scientist are now also looking at the relationship between the global weather, environment and the microbes that play a major role in the global planet weather cycles and global warming.

This artificial life installation will create a relationship between actual global weather as mediated by bacteria, algae and viruses that will then control a distributed set of breathing robotic sculptures that undulate and breath with that weather. This will be the first set of robots ever controlled by both bacterial cultures and simultaneously cloud computing. The works will be controlled according to weather patterns mapped to the forms themselves through global networks of data collection, available through our emerging global data networks and sensors systems and a multiplicity of broadcast weather stations.

Special thanks to Trademark Gunderson, studio assistant.

Fusiform Polyphony (Video Art)


Six interactive robotic sculptures that compose their own music with input from participant’s facial images. Micro video cameras mounted on the ends of these robots, move toward people’s body heat and capture snapshots of faces. These images are digitally processed, pixelated and produce constantly evolving generative soundscapes, where facial features and interaction are turned into sound melody, tone and rhythm.

More info about the Fusiform Polyphony project


ALife XV – Featured Artist


Antonio Isaac Gómez is an independent interdisciplinary artist, technology designer and filmmaker with a passion for science. His work is focused on exploring the relationship between art, science and nature, through the use of new technological media.  

Gomez’s performance at this conference is supported by CONACyT.

Oraculum, Oscillations of Earth


Oraculum, Oscillations of Earth is an interdisciplinary live performance that combines generative images, electronic media, tangible interfaces, as well as elements of cinematography, theatre and dance. This artwork is presented in a hypercube that shows in each of its faces a different type of image generated by artificial intelligence, interactive, digital and analog devices. The hypercube has biosensors that measure movement, temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate that respond to the microsounds, cell vibrations, temperature fluctuations, eye movements, velocity of fluids and more reactions from both audience and performers. Through the use of these devices it is possible for the piece to react to the emotional state of the audience.

More info about the Oraculum, Oscillations of Earth project


Since 2003, Tatsuo Unemi has worked with Swiss-based artist, Daniel Bisig, for new-media art projects. Their works have been exhibited and demonstrated in international events related to new-media arts, such as ARCO 2007 in Madrid, 10th Japan Media Art Festival in Tokyo, Art Escapes 2007 in Valencia, SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans, ISEA 2010 in Dortmund and WRO 2011 in Wrocław. They received three awards, Honorary Mention in Vida 9.0 in 2006 by Flocking Messengers, Excellence Award in 10th Japan Media Art Festival in 2006 by MediaFlies, and Audience Prize in WRO 2011 by Cycles. They were involved in four projects of contemporary ballet by Jiří Kylián in 2008 and 2009 for the stage effects

Visual Liquidizer or Virtual Merge


An audio-visual interactive installation that virtually mediates physical and mental relationship between persons, inspired from SF novel “Wetware” by R. Rucker. It provides experiences for visitors as if their bodies were merged on the 2D screen.

More info about the Visual Liquidizer or Virtual Merge project


Tatsuo Unemi graduated from Department of Control Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1978, received Master’s degree from Department of System Sciences in 1980, and Doctor’s degree in 1994 from the same university. He worked as a research associate from 1981 to 1987 at Tokyo Institute of Technology, as an assistant professor at Nagaoka University of Technology, as an assistant professor at Soka University from 1992, as an associate professor from 1995, and then the current position from 2012. He was also working at Laboratory for International Fuzzy Engineering Research from 1992 to 1995 as a visiting scholar. He was staying at AI Lab., IFI, University of Zurich as a visiting professor from April to September 2000. His research included Natural Language Processing, Knowledge Engineering, Machine Learning, Genetic Algorithm, Reinforcement Learning, Distributed Autonomous Robot System, and Artificial Life. Current interests include artistic, sociological, and humanities applications of these technologies.

Daily Evolved Animation


A consecutive series of short animations made by the machine. Mac Pro in the author’s laboratory has been making ten short animations of abstract visuals every morning since October 2011. The production is based on a type of evolutionary computing combined with computational aesthetic measures as fitness criteria.

More info about the Daily Evolved Animation project


Mario García-Valdez is a Professor of Computer Science at Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana. In recent years his research has been focused on the personalization of interactive systems using computational intelligence techniques including: fuzzy systems, genetic algorithms and artificial neural networks. He is the leader of the Intelligent Interactive Systems Lab, with a focus on research and development in e-Learning environments, interactive evolutionary computation and volunteer computing. He received a nomination for best paper award in the 2nd International Conference on Evolutionary and Biologically Inspired Music, Sound, Art and Design (EvoMusArt Vienna, 2013).   

EvoDraw: Interactive Evolution of Animations


The EvoDraw installation is an IEA in which viewers interact with animations by simply looking at them. Drawings emerge from animations scripted in the Processing language, and each is configured by a list of parameters represented by their chromosome. To start the evolutionary cycle, first a population of animations is randomly generated and stored in a container server called EvoSpace. Once the population is active, client computers remove animations from the evospace server to be presented in a monitor one at a time. After a certain amount of time, animations are put back to the server along with information generated from the interaction. To continue, another is again removed and presented to viewers.

More info about the Interactive Evolution of Animations project


Eduardo Makoszay Mayén (Mexico City, 1992) is an artist that works with cinema and other mediums. Some of his influences are electronic music, science fiction, visual ethnography, and the intersection between digital and physical life. He studied film for some time, has participated in theater, digital art, contemporary sculpture and performance workshops, but he mainly investigate through the internet.

Makoszay’s performance at this conference is supported by CONACyT.

Makoszay is a film on progress or a progress of a film, which uses footage filmed in a documentary way to create fiction. A science fiction based in actual matters; like the increasing capacity of artificial intelligence to learn from human knowledge and practices. A being with no physical boundaries who is set to deep dream in an anthropocentric network. Humans will not “believe” they have created (or rather discovered) an actual AI until it can act as an indistinguishable being from us.

More info about the project


Amy M. Youngs creates biological art, interactive sculptures and digital media works that explore interdependencies between technology, plants and animals. Her practice-based research involves entanglements with the non-human, constructing ecosystems, and seeing through the eyes of machines. She has created installations that amplify the sounds and movements of living worms, indoor ecosystems that grow edible plants, a multi-channel interactive video sculpture for a science museum, and community-based, participatory video, social media and public web cam projects.

Young has exhibited her works nationally and internationally at venues such as Te Papa Museum in New Zealand, the Trondheim Electronic Arts Center in Norway, the Biennale of Electronic Arts in Australia, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Spain and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. She has earned an Individual Artist Grant from the Ohio Arts Council, contributed writing to interdisciplinary publications such as Leonardo and the recent book, Robots and Art, and her work has been profiled in books such as, Art in Action, Nature, Creativity & our Collective Future. She has lectured widely, at venues such as the Australian Centre For  the Moving Image in Melbourne, Australia and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN. Born in Chico California, she moved to San Francisco, where she received a BA in Art fron San Francisco State University. On fellowship, she attended the School of the Art of the Art Institute of Chicago and earned an MFA in 1999. In 2001 she joined  the faculty at the Ohio State University where she is currently working as an Associate Professor of Art, leading interdisciplinary grant projects and teaching courses in moving image, eco art, and art/science. 

Encounters of a Domestic Nature


An interface for crickets and humans to enter into each other’s worlds. Domestic house crickets in a protected bubble with a projected nature scenery video that is activated by their chirping sounds. Humans are captured in video, then miniaturized, and projected into the landscape visible to the crickets. The small scene is  re-projected as a large, live scene so we see ourselves, with the crickets, in a movie together at a similar scale.

More info about the Encounter of a Domestic Nature project


Exquisite Bodies


Based on the concept of the “exquisite corpse”, this interactive  video sculpture takes the form of an integrated whole, made from many parts. Viewers can interact via two live video feeds, which intermingle with videos captured from the natural and urban body of central Ohio. All are mixed into a dynamic and constantly changing structure designed to show the interconnections between the natural and technological aspects of our urban ladscape.

More info about the Exquisite Bodies project


TradeMark Gunderson is a musician and technology artist out to remix the world. Decades of work produced under the band name of The Evolution Control Committee helped pioneer the mashup world of cut-n-paste  music. In also challenged the role of copy right in an emerging digital world, making him a target of legal threats from mass media companies and rejection by music pressers and distributors. TradeMark is also the inventor/hacker of devices like the Thimbletron and the VidiMasher 3000, digital music instruments created  specifically to perform his unique sounds. TradeMark and The ECC have appeared on networks from CNN to C-SPAN, in print from Spin Magazine to the Macmillan Dictionary, and in person giving around 1,000 performances and presentations at festivals, concerts halls, bars, and galleries all over the world.

TradeMark received his MFA from The Ohio State University where he currently teaches new media art. He is also the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Media Arts Fellowship Grant, and artist-in-residence and visiting alumni at the Headlands Center for the Arts, the recipient of three sound art commissions from the Burning Man festival, and the co-founder of five bands and at least three radio stations.



Birdless/Wingless presents a constructed world based on a dream I had where birds and their wings can separate. The installation welcomes visitors through doors which play autotuned sounds of squeaky hinges and bird calls. Inside is a table (another door actually, but horizontal) set with the possessions of a person obsessed with  the phenomena: bird watching reference books, handwritten notebooks of observations, feathers, and strange electronic devices.

More info about the Birdless/Wingless project