[ISEA2020] Paper: Ana Rodrigues, Bruna Sousa, Penousal Machado & Amílcar Cardoso — Glowing Lichen: Visually sensing social spaces


Keywords: Media-Art Installation, Nature-Inspired, Artificial Organisms, Social-Emotional Behavior, Visual Sensations, Perception, Interactive Artefact

Glowing Lichen is a media-art installation that explores a series of sensitive connections between a physical-digital artefact and an audience. This installation comprehends two luminous organisms that cohabit in the same ecosystem and react to the surrounding environment in distinct ways. Each organism has an individual pre-disposition, i.e., personality — it can gravitate across four types: calm, happy, nervous and aggressive. As a result of being sensitive to the audience behaviors, interactions and environment changes, each organism feelings and ransformations will be triggered by these characteristics. Hence, we propose a reciprocal system where the way an audience behaves will influence the way a set of artificial organisms evolves. In the end, this results in a series of emergent behaviors of two artificial organisms growing unique aspects spawn by the environment they inhabit. Additionally, we invite the participants to reflect on their own interactions when inhabiting a space in a certain moment either as individuals or as a community of shared behaviors and perceptions.

  • Ana Rodrigues is a Computational Designer. Aside from being currently enrolled in the PhD Program of Information Science and Technology at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, she does research at the Computational Design and Visualization Lab., CISUC. Additionally, she teaches as an Invited Assistant at the same institution. She is particularly interested in exploring computational bridges that may emerge from crossing the domains of Visual Communication, Music, Cognitive Sciences, and Media Design. Other interests of hers include Computational Creativity and Artificial Intelligence. cdv.dei.uc.pt/ana-rodrigues
  • Bruna Sousa holds a Master’s in Design and Multimedia from the University of Coimbra, Portugal. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Design and Multimedia, from the same institution, a course where she currently teaches. She is currently enrolled in the PhD of Contemporary Art at the College of Arts of the University of Coimbra. For five years she has worked as a freelance graphic designer for clients in the areas of arts, culture and architecture, among others. Her research interests are related to participatory design, computational design, interaction design, graphic design, motion graphics, illustration and photography.
  • Penousal Machado is the coordinator of the Cognitive and Media Systems group and the scientific director of the Computational Design and Visualization Lab. of the Centre for Informatics and Systems of the University of Coimbra, Portugal. His research interests include Artificial Intelligence, Evolutionary Computation, Computational Creativity, Computational Art and Design. He is also the recipient of scientific awards, including the prestigious EvoStar Award for Outstanding Contribution to Evolutionary Computation in Europe and the award for Excellence and Merit in Artificial Intelligence granted by the Portuguese Association for Artificial Intelligence. His work was featured in the Leonardo journal, Wired, and included in the “Talk to me” exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art, NY (MoMA).
  • Amílcar Cardoso PhD and Habillitation in Informatics Engineering, Full Professor at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, where he teaches Artificial Intelligence, Computational Creativity, Programming for Design, Sound Design and other topics. He is Vice-President of Instituto Pedro Nunes, the knowledge transfer and incubation interface of University of Coimbra, since July 2017. He is also Academic Ombudsman of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra since 2016. He developed pioneering work on Computational Creativity in the 90’s, ever since assuming an active role in the establishment of a Computational Creativity community.