ReBioGeneSys – Origins of Life: a hybrid installation that combines sculpture, chemistry, alchemy and conservation to autonomously create extreme minimal ecosystems capable of autopoetic evolution.
ReBioGeneSys is also a fully functioning scientific experiment capable of being reconfigured into any real or imaginary world, be it Venus, Titan, our prebiotic Earth or Middle Earth. By combining in one set of integrated processes all the research on origins of life by scientists such as Darwin, Oparin, Haldane, Miller, Deamer and Szostak, ReBioGeneSys creates “mashed-up” extreme minimal ecosystems theoretically capable of forming the self-organizing chemistries necessary to produce semi-living molecules and perhaps even protocells.
Artistically, ReBioGeneSys also draws on the legacy of artists such as the myth of Pygmalion and the attempts of Jacques de Vaucanson to create “living” sculpture. But ReBioGeneSys is the first installation ever created that actually does have the ability to evolve itself. A system that can evolve by means of natural selection must incorporate means of not only producing living matter, but also to select among the matter it produces that which is best adapted to that minimal ecosystem. This cycle of production and selection must operate over and over again across time creating a process of self-improvement that spirals back to a slightly more evolved place each time. Unlike Galatea, who when fully formed, suddenly comes to life, ReBioGeneSys is always coming to life.