xCoAx 2020 8th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X 8–10 July, Graz online

Paper Session 3

Keywords: Digital Agency, Evolutionary Systems, Modeling, Ontologies, Simulacra, Simulation, Speculative Design.

Exploratory Modelling with Speculative Complex Biological Systems

Sage Jenson, Kit Kuksenok

We present a specific performance with a speculative complex biological simulation in the terms of exploratory modelling in scientific practice. The simulation, which adapts a model of acellular slime mold Physarum polycephalum, challenges the locus of agency during the performance. This powerful performative agency arises from the persistence of state and feedback mechanisms of this complex network system. To understand how agency shifts, and how the performance relates to the underlying biological system being modeled, we use the scribe-system-representation framework. We motivate the use of scientific work as a rich, generative basis for creative coding projects, which we see as a vital mode of engagement with contemporary scientific work and process. This article provides conceptual tools and some practical examples to explore this avenue in artistic as well as pedagogic practice.

Download PDF

The Technobiotics of Others

Erik H Zepka

The Foucauldian idea of life-power is fused into the realm of multiple technologies, and the subject body is advocated as the hinge of the technobiopolitical system. The paradoxical position of providing descriptions for a mute materialism is demonstrated through graduated instances: Haraway and a biosemiotics of systemic context, Derrida's Kierkegaardian secret and Bataille's base materialism - each elucidating different alterities. The interfusal of code and its biological space is contextualized in an outward-facing system: recognition and (mal)adaption. These aesthetic realities work to obscure and elucidate scientific objects within an environment, creating opportunities in shifting paradigmatic and hypothetical spaces that inform research frameworks.

Download PDF

Electric Love: Analyzing Human Mate Selection Dynamics in a Digital Environment

Michael Vogrin, Guilherme Wood, Thomas Schmickl

Human mate selection behavior in digital environments is, despite the rise of online dating, not well understood. In this paper, swiping apps are simulated by using an agent-based model. Implementing empirically derived data from other studies, the aim of this study is to investigate the fairness of such platforms. Our model predicts that positive evaluations (Likes) and reciprocal positive evaluations (Matches) of agents are highly unevenly distributed. We calculated a Gini coefficient for the likes agents receive and modulate system conditions to increase the fairness on the platform. We found conditions under which the system is fairer towards both female and male agents. Substantial inequalities never fully disappear when changing various factors in the system, hinting at the fundamental principle of swiping apps for the cause of said inequalities.

Download PDF

Ȧdea: Evolving glyphs for aiding creativity in the graphic design workflow

Daniel Lopes, João Correia, Penousal Machado

In creative fields such as Graphic Design, it is often difficult to break away from the past and find novel solutions. We present an evolutionary system for generating typographical glyphs along with a 3-stage workflow for using it as a graphic design tool. We evolve SVG using both interactive and automatic fitness assignments and comparing traditional operators with topological ones. The results suggest that the implemented topological operators are less destructive than conventional ones. Advantages to both interactive and automatic evaluation methods are addressed. Finally, we refer to a set of design artefacts developed out of the generated glyphs, demonstrating the relevance of including the system in the designers’ workflow.

Download PDF

Panel discussion

Join the conversation