History of One Organism (12 x 14) is a record a cellular automata. For every living cell a spoon of simple house paint is dropped on the floor. Living cells thus manifest themselves with white acrylic paint, dead cells remain unrepresented. When the system is usually seen on a screen the history of the organism resides invisible. As soons a cells dies, it disappears without any traces of its previous existance. Here, life activities still extent in form of brittle white paint. Over the lifespan of the organism the paint acculumulates, leaving layers and layers of dead cells of white paint, creating a record of the once active system.

The work also stands in conversation with Untitled (sonic cellular automata) from 2009. While in Untitled (sonic cellular automata) the observer of the work literally experiences the system of the game of life, here it is only the artist who engages with the running organism. The result is a artifact of that system which reveals the process and its history. This progress becomes visible through (1) the layering the cells/paint and (2) the deformation of the cell forms. While initally active cells shape a perfect circle of paint, later born cells from complex and deformed shapes. The work thus resides in the realm of painting and sculpture. It becomes a sculpture made of paint.

(for related writing please click here)

dimensions: 28" x 28" x 8"


related writing