MTF Labs Aveiro

Artificial Life: Aveiro Lagoon Project

During the brainstorming and investigations, the Aveiro wetlands, lagoon and salt flats became an important focus for this activity. Highlighting the importance of those ecosystems became therefore central to many of the participants’ work. Particularly the challenge was how to highlight life forms which are mostly hidden from view in the wetlands, by being under the surface or in the water.

Generative artists Sofia Crespo (Argentinian) and Feileacan McCormick (Norwegian) are rising stars of the Berlin avant-garde scene for their work at the intersection of natural systems, machine learning, AI and neural networks. During the brainstorming sessions with fellow lab and online participants it became apparent that there was a possibility to raise awareness of the importance of the Laguna de Aveiro ecosystem by generating speculative life forms to draw attention to this thriving ecosystem.

The artists researched the Laguna de Aveiro with photography and observations of real world fauna and habitats, and worked with neural networks and artificial intelligence systems that allowed them to generate visible new life forms based on those already existing. This approach launched a dialogue about the value of life that is invisible to the human eye because it is hidden from view or it evolves slowly over time.

The Artificial Life – Aveiro Lagoon Project was presented in a ground-breaking way. For the first time ever, Sofia Crespo used live VJ-ing to interact with neural networks and generate different life forms for the stage.

The performance ran together with live generative music  in collaboration with electronic musician and sound artist Nestor Peixoto from Vigo (aka Æthereal Arthropod). His live performed generative soundtrack based on real sounds collected in nature, responded to the neural network generated visuals and breathed life into the computer generated creatures and environments.

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