[ISEA2010] Paper: Anna Dumitriu & Blay Whitby – Cybernetic Bacteria 2.0


Cybernetic Bacteria 2.0 is an interactive installation which makes explicit the sublime correlations between human digital communication and bacterial chemical communication. The project was a collaboration between a visual artist (Anna Dumitriu), a microbiologist (Dr Simon Park), a philosopher (Dr Blay Whitby), an interactive media artist (Tom Keene) and an artificial life programmer (Lorenzo Grespan) and was commissioned by The Science Gallery in Dublin as part of their exhibition “Infectious”.

The artwork combines raw network traffic taking place live around the gallery (including web traffic, mobile technology and Bluetooth), a time-lapse film of bacterial communication occurring (involving two strains of genetically modified (GM) bacteria which will indicate, by changing colour or glowing, the communication taking place) and (generated from those sources) a new Cellular Automata artificial life form.

  • Dr. Blay Whitby (UK) is philosopher and ethicist concerned with the social impact of new and emerging technologies. Books and chapters include: “On Computable Morality”, “Reflections on Artificial Intelligence: The Legal, Moral and Ethical Dimensions” and “Artificial Intelligence, A Beginner’s Guide”.
  • Anna Dumitriu (UK) is a visual artist working with digital and biological media through installation and performance. She is artist in residence in the Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics at The University of Sussex and working on her Ph.D. at The University of Brighton.

Full text (PDF) p.  242-244