Jon McCormack is one of Australia's most acclaimed digital media artists. His work is strongly influenced by the new science of Artificial Life and the mediation of nature through technology. With a background in filmmaking and computer science, Jon is one of the few artists who develops his work primarily through writing computer software.
Inspired by the artist's time in the wilderness of Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, this interactive artwork is a self-generating, artificial ecosystem. Populations of evolving creatures move about the environment, emit and listen to sounds, forage for food, encounter predators and mate with each other. Over time, creatures evolve fitness to the landscape. Visitors influence the emergent open-ended nature of artificial evolution as the boundaries between real and virtual spaces are blurred.
Turbulence: An Interactive Museum of Unnatural History
What would life be like if it were made from computer code rather than flesh and blood? The astonishing menagerie of forms in Turbulence aims to explore the new worlds made visible by computers, and to reflect on the consequences of what these new spaces mean to us. Turbulence is internationally regarded as a defining work in new media art.
Turbulence was produced in association with the Australian Film Commission. The redesigned version (2004) was commissioned by ACMI.
|Image: Universal Zoologies|
Animated sequences from McCormack's interactive installation, where audience movement generated visual and sonic dialogues between two archetypal synthetic humans. A computer database containing phrases from the work of poet Borges and zoologist Richard Dawkins are reinterpreted in an endless surreal conversation between two synthetic humans exploring the subjectivity of evolution, biology, taxonomy and scientific representation.
In this early computer-generated animation, McCormack examines identity and dreams through the symbolism of abstract geometric structures, exploring the similar spaces of the computer and the unconscious.