How can we dream up new ecosystems? Can doing so help us understand the concept of existing always in relationship to others?
Beneath the Neural Waves explores biodiversity through an attempt at creating (digitally) an aquatic ecosystem as a means of attempting to engage with the very abstract concept of relationship. These dioramas of artificial life, together with the various sculptural fragments, imagery, and text, reach out towards the complex entanglement of natural life, both with itself and others.
The choice of the aquatic, specifically the coral reef, was due to our belief that these reefs ecosystems are the perfect example of how the interconnectedness occurs in the natural world between life, no one creature is the core component of the reef, rather it emerges from the interwoven whole of all the individual component species.
Deep learning allows us to take a contemporary approach to pattern extraction. It facilitates extracting three-dimensional patterns from nature and rearranging them to envision new speculative worlds. By choosing this workflow we were faced with the challenge of creating datasets, teaching us how the available data and the way it represents marine life reflects how humans look at the natural world. Neural networks trained on coral reefs and their many inhabitants produce a large variety of 3D models which are then brought together to form new, speculative reefs from beneath the neural waves.
The project's exhibition consists of physical and digital parts, the physical is a series of 3D printed dioramas & individual specimens alongside video displays displaying long, generative loops of speculative aquatic specimens. The digital aspect is a browser-based "virtual diorama" showing a more colourful, animated perspective of the dioramas.
Version 2.0 was exhibited as 1st Prize recipient of the re:humanism art prize, exhibited at the Maxxi, The National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome, Italy.
Special thanks to Daniela Cotimbo, cables.gl and Jack Julian (sound for web experience) & Alan Ixba.
Photos by Sebastiano Luciano and Giulia Parmigiani.
Version 1.5 is a meditative, online experience of an AI-generated coral reef for Nvidia's '2021 AI Art Gallery'.
Special thanks to cables.gl.
Version 1.2 takes the form of an online virtual exhibition of specimens of corals from Beneath the Neural Waves are arranged in phylogenetic trees that display their speculative evolution. Around them generated fish swim by, careful where you tread, however, you might just scare them if you get too close!
Thanks to Jack Julian for the aquatic soundtrack.
Special thanks to Joel Simon.
Version 1.0 was the initial release of the work in the form of AI-generated sculptures, video, and web experience. The work was realized as part of an arts residency hosted by the Etopia Centro de Arte y Tecnología in Zaragoza, Spain, and shown as part of the 'VisionarIAs' exhibition.
Click here for more information about the exhibition, open until the 25th of Sep. 2021.
With special thanks to Blanca Perez Ferrer.
Photos by Julian Fallas.