Life Spacies II

1999, Christa SOMMERER & Laurent MIGNONNEAU
Source: 1999, Christa SOMMERER & Laurent MIGNONNEAU
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"Life SpaciesII" was originally developed for the ICC InterCommunication Museum in Tokyo as part of the museum's permanent collection. It is an artificial life environment where remotely located visitors on the Internet and the on-site visitors to the installation at the ICC Museum in Tokyo can interact with each other through evolutionary forms and images. Through the "Life SpaciesII" web page, people all over the world interact with the system; by simply typing and sending an email message to the "Life SpaciesII" web site (, one can create one's own artificial creature.
We developed a special text-to-form coding system that enables us to use written text as genetic code and translate it into visual creatures. In a way similar to the genetic code in nature, letters, syntax and sequencing of the text is used to code certain parameters in the creature's design functions. Form, shape, color, texture and the number of bodies and limbs are influenced by the text parameters. As there is a great variation in the texts sent by different people, the creatures themselves also vary greatly in their appearance.
As soon as a message is sent, the produced creature starts to live and move around in the "Life SpaciesII" environment. Depending on the complexity of the written text message the creatures body design and its ability to move is determined. Some creatures might move very fast whereas others might be slower. Creatures also look for food and aim to eat text characters that can be interactively released by the visitors: creatures always eat the same characters as contained in their genetic code. For example "John" creature will only eat "J", "o", "h" and "n". Since other creatures might want to eat the same characters as well, competition among creatures for certain types of food will occur. Creatures also might starve and die if they do not succeed to catch enough text characters. On the other hand if a creature has eaten enough food (=text characters) it will look for a mating partner and bear a child. Offspring creatures will then carry the genetic code of the parent creatures and live and interact with the other creatures in "Life SpaciesII."

  • aesthetics
  • genres
    • bioart
      • genetic art
    • installations
      • interactive installations
      • mixed reality
      • virtual reality (VR)
  • subjects
    • Art and Science
      • dynamical systems
      • scientific images
    • Body and Psychology
      • genetics
      • gesture
    • Technology and Innovation
      • artificial life
  • technology
    • displays
      • electronic displays
        • projectors
    • hardware
      • mice (input device)
Technology & Material
1 computer with dual video output
1 video projector
1 computer keyboard
1 computer mouse
2 powered Loud Speakers
1 flat monitor screen
1 pedestal for the
1 room
1 computer keyboard
1 computer mouse
2 powered Loud Speakers
3D forms generator algorithm
Text to 3D form algorithm
Text to speech software (third party)