During the summer of 2016 I spent a few weeks with my family at sea in Bretagne, France. During these times when one is expected to relax and not work, somehow ideas come more freely. I liked how the seaweed and jellyfish washed ashore and formed shapes and composition which were always different but also somehow always the same.
I tried to program a simple piece of computer code to simulate these smooth round curves. The effects were surprisingly satisfying. Somehow my shapes reminded me of the sculpture works of Hans Arp.
But instead of randomly generating those shapes, which was quickly becoming a bit boring, I tried to define a mechanism by which I could influence the outcome. I was wondering what would be the 'most interesting' composition. Could a process of feedback between me and the software be considered a kind of dialectics?
I devised a system in which the drawings, consisting of multiple lines and shapes, would evolve and improve over time. In many iterations, the system would give me a generation of works, and each time I would pick two, from which more 'children' would be bred. Because the breeding always happens between siblings - a sort of mechanical incest - the diversity would gradually converge.
Technically (or biologically?), all properties of a drawing (angles, smoothness, shape, color, transparency, scale, position, etc.) are stored in a long sequence of 0s and 1s: a digital chromosome. These chromosomes hermetically define the appearance of each work (or specimen).
When two people (or in this case drawings) are selected and mate, both of their chromosomes are aligned, and ad-random genes are selected from either parent (cross-over). From this game of recombination repetitive and diverse offspring emerges.
The process of selecting candidates for breeding, examining the results, and using those results to further breed to eliminate or emphasise particular traits in animals and flowers is called 'hybrid vigor'.
My website 'Hybrid Vigor' is publicly accessible to crowd source this process in an evolutionary way, using the internet visitor as fitness function.
UltraChrome HDR prints on Hahnemühle paper. Each unique edition.