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<nettime-ann> Digital Wild edition of Leonardo now online
hight on Fri, 8 Dec 2006 18:38:11 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> Digital Wild edition of Leonardo now online

Wild Nature and the Digital Life

Leonardo online


Guest editors Dene Grigar and Sue Thomas have culled a neat collection of
explosive essays from the hefty haul of initial contributions received and
emerged with a two-themed anthology on Wild Nature and the Digital Life,
which delves into the collaboration of art and nature.

In Dene Grigar?s editorial, she explains that the first volume explores a
range of issues relating to the ?Emergent and Generative? in nature, the
digital, and art. The second wave of another four papers, edited by Sue
Thomas, features essays that are ?Performative and Locative? in scope.

Peter Hasdell starts the proverbial ball rolling, with his contribution,
Artificial Ecologies: Second Nature Emergent Phenomena in Constructed
Digital ? Natural Assemblages. Participants are asked to develop projects
that learnt, borrowed, or stole from natural systems. In essence,
constructing part natural/part artificial assemblages functioning as
small-scale quasi-ecosystems. This unearths a ?garden of strange delights?
where a ?level of unpredictability of outcome arose, freed from
constraints of orthodoxy."

The next essay to flutter into sight is Tara Rodgers? Butterfly Effects:
Synthesis, Emergence, and Transduction. This paper describes a music
project in progress that attempts to model monarch butterfly behaviors and
migration patterns in sound, using the programming language SuperCollider.
The goal is to achieve a dynamically generated composition that combines
core elements into a complex system, describing patterns of emergence and

Musical composition figures also as the subject of Dave Burraston and
Andrew Martin?s Digital Behaviours and Generative Music, an essay about
reaction-diffusion systems, cellular automata, and computer music.

Jennifer Willet?s Bodies in Biotechnology: Embodied Models for
Understanding Biotechnology in Contemporary Art serves as an introduction
to an evolving series of texts exploring the intersection between
computation, biology, art, science, and education. Its focus is on ?moving
away from computational models and reuniting notions of embodiment with
the language and representation of biotechnology with a social and
political mandate towards informed discourse and public consent."

In the second-themed collection, Adam Gussow?s Kudzu Running: Pastoral
Pleasures, Wilderness Terrors, and Wrist-Mounted Technologies in
Small-Town Mississippi, transports us to the moment when, during what was
intended to be a 30-minute jog on Thacker Mountain, the author realizes he
is lost. He is then ?forced to reassess both the implicit romanticism of
my own understandings of nature and the real utility of the competing
metric technologies I?ve grown addicted to."

On a larger scale, in Mapping the Disaster: Global Prediction and the
Medium of ?Digital
Earth?, Kathryn Yusoff reports on ?the mapping of disaster in digital
prediction models. Concentrating on the imminent disaster of climate
change, the author asks how global digital models can be expanded to
incorporate a wild nature and wild data."

Jeremy Hight then looks into how the ?developments in locative technology,
location-based narrative and the expansion of the research and work allow
new hybrid narrative forms, but more importantly, allows the entire
landscape to be ?read? as a digitally enhanced physical landscape? in his
offering Views from Above: Locative Narrative and the Landscape.

The closing essay is Brett Stalbaum?s Paradigmatic Performance: Data Flow
and Practice in the Wild, which incorporates many of the areas discussed
in this volume. He uses real-time data modelling to explore ?the
intersection of data and the real via artist made technologies, with the
goal of generating new configurations of exploration at time when it may
be assumed that the Earth is already thoroughly explored."

The essays are packaged with a small but powerful gallery of two works,
also curated by Dene Grigar and Sue Thomas.

Karl Grimes? Future Nature ?continues [his] analytical engagement with the
themes of retrieval and digital resurrection, bringing to light and into
the light the specimens and objects previously hidden in dispersed
archives and research databanks. The project takes as its base the unique
animal embryos and foetuses housed in the Hubrecht Collection of
Comparative Embryology, Utrecht, Netherlands, the Museum für Naturkunde,
Berlin, Germany, and the Tornblad Institute in Lund, Sweden".

Elisa Giaccardi?s efforts with Hal Eden and Gianluca Sabena breathed life
to The Affective Geography of Silence ? Towards a Museum of Natural Quiet,
a project which resulted in a ?virtual museum in which natural quiet is
transformed into a living and affective geography that changes over time
according to participants' perceptions and interpretations of their
natural environment?.

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