The Morphogenesis project explores the fusion of arts and bioinformatics. Generative artists can be inspired by biomathematicians in exploring the structure of nature. Some elegant mathematical models come from “morphogenesis,” a branch of biology studying the mechanisms of growth and pattern formation. The goal of this paper is to show deep relations between morphogenesis and generative art that can be called “morphogenesis art,” not just borrowing scientific tools, but participating in its own way to scientific research.
Some great scientists as D’arcy Thompson, Alan Turing and Stephane Leduc all share the same idea: life could emerge from inorganic elements by complex physico-chemical reactions. Life can then be synthesized. Seventy-five years after the decisive experiments of Leduc in “synthetic biology,” these ideas crystallize in Artificial Life (AL). As Christopher Langton says, describing AL: “It views life as a property of the organization of matter, rather than a property of the matter which is so organized.”
Morphogenesis art is investigating synthetic life by focusing on geometrical models of growth and pattern formation “in silico.” This model exploration is an important part of the biomathematics, morphogenesis and AL work. As Langton says: “We would like to build models that are so life-like that they cease to become models of life and become examples of life themselves.”
Morphogenesis find synthetic structures bridging the gap between organic and inorganic worlds. As Leduc says: “the first dawn of the synthesis of life must consist in the production of forms intermediate between the inorganic and the organic world — forms which possess only some of the rudimentary attributes of life”.
The Morphogenesis project proposes to create an “artificial phenomenon.” The ultimate goal would be to create an abstract synthesis between organic and inorganic manifestation as fascinating as a solar eruption, an eclipse, a virus, an alien life form, constantly evolving guided by synthetic physico-chemical reactions. The paper discusses three experiments called “Spherical product,” “Orbs” and “Genoma,” used as a testbed to experiment with the morphogenesis art conceptual framework.
- Christophe Viau, Ecole de technologie superieure, Montreal, Canada
Full text (PDF) p. 2484-2489