This system uses a computer controlled four-axis positioning table to “print” intricate bio-architectural constructions out of algae and seeds. Suspended in a clear gel growth medium, the algae continues to grow and the seeds sprout. The algorithmically-generated patterns drawn by the system are based on the Eden growth model and leverage mathematical representations of both urban growth and cellular growth, thereby connecting the concept of city with the concept of the organism. This project is working to make concrete the idea of dynamic and fluid computer space altering the expression and formation of a living and growing biological material, via its collaboration with an engineering mechanism.

The project was presented in Linz, Austria for the Ars Electronica Festival 2010 as part of the show “Repair” sponsored by the OK Center and exhibited in the former Tabak Fabrik. Additionally it was show in Bumbershoot 2009 at the Seattle Center. It was a part of Kerfuffle, a show curated by Lele Barnett and Christopher Weber. It is also part of a touring exhibit called Intimate Science, curated by Andrea Grover.

This work was selected for Honorary Mention in Hybrid Arts for Ars Electronica 2010. It also received Honorary Mention for Vida 13.0, the competition for Art and Artificial Life.

It is the same piece that was shown in New Orleans for DesCours 2007. The primary difference being that it now prints with actual seeds to allow for the emergence of sprouts over the duration of the exhibit. This further pushes the concept of an “organic printer”, making it very clear in the work’s visual encounter that the viewer is experiencing a CNC machine that is plotting fractals out of living matter.

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