Autopoiesis is an artificial life robotic sculpture installation. It consists of 15 musical and robotic sculptures (4 for this exhibition) that interact with human participants in the exhibition as well as each other. Autopoiesis is “self making”, a characteristic of all living systems and these sculptures use the intercommunication between participants and each other to self-modify their behaviors. Artificial life is a programming technique that allows computer systems to evolve their behaviors over time, based on input from participants in the exhibition.

Infrared sensors at the top of the sculptures allow the sculptures to see and track your body heat and move toward you, while infrared sensors at the tip of each sculpture allow the robotic sculptures to avoid you. A custom built computer at the top of each sculpture and a central global computer on one of the sculptures allow the sculptures to both act as a group and show individual behaviors simultaneously.

This series of robotic sculptures talk with each other through audible telephone tones, which are a musical language for the group. Higher and more rapid telephone tones are associated with fear and the lower, more deliberate tonal sequences with relaxation and play. This group consciousness of sculptural robots manifests a cybernetic ballet of experience, with the computer/machine and viewer/participant involved in a grand dance of one sensing and responding to the other.
Materials: cabernet sauvignon grapevines, alife algorithms, human participation, molded urethane plastic, cyano acrylate glue, baking soda, sensors and custom computers.

Special Thanks to:

The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art for their financial support in realizing this project.