The two principal artists of this project work with GOTO10, a collective of international artists, musicians and programmers who are dedicated to Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) and its integration into digital arts at the “blurry line” between programming and art. Metabiosis is a collection of works developed by the artists over a year and a half, aimed at developing the concept of dependence of one (digital) organism on others with which it shares a virtual world, and using only FLOSS and GNU/Linux. The stages of the project to date are: an ecosystem simulation with a text-based interface for inserting creature/matrices, called “go forth & *”; a workshop that introduced children to a-life art; the audiovisual performance d_u_w that is based on generative processes; a second ecosystem, “Pond”, with a touch screen interface; the mesh network “Meshy” that transmits and receives data via sound on AM radio frequency; and a “theatrical puzzle” called “Hello process” that consists solely of a computer and printer. Setting out to engage audiences with the abstract processes that are the back end of digital art, the artists have pared away layers at every stage of the process and thus their rigorous and astute concept arrived at the minimalist representation of code spitting out to a printer in “Hello process”. The artists’ interest in audience response to computing as it becomes visible in art makes this project a novel and important contribution to a-life art.
About the authors
Aymeric Mansoux (FR) is an artist, musician and founding member of the GOTO10 collective. His main artistic and research interests revolve around online communities, open and distributed practices, software as a medium and the influence of FLOSS in software art. His most recent projects and collaborations include the “0xA” file repository band, the digital artlife “Metabiosis” project. the “Puredyne” GNU/Linux live distribution for media artists and “/mode +v noise” the ever expanding ASCII based network music platform. Aymeric is editor of the FLOSS+Art book (Openmute, 2008), as well as Folly’s Digital Artists Handbook. He currently lives in the Netherlands and teaches in the Networked Media Master of the Piet Zwart Institute of the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam.
Marloes de Valk (NL) is a Dutch digital artist, part of GOTO10, a collective of artists and programmers working in the field of digital art and Free/Libre Open Source Software. She studied Sound and Image at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, specializing in abstract compositional computer games, HCI and crashing computers. Her work consists of audiovisual performances and installations, investigating machine theater and narratives of digital processes. She is currently collaborating with French artist Aymeric Mansoux on Metabiosis, a collection of experiments about software art and digital processes. She is editor of the Digital Artists’ Handbook (folly, 2008) and FLOSS+Art (Openmute, 2008).
GOTO10 is a collective of international artists, musicians and programmers, dedicated to Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) and digital arts. GOTO10 aims to support and develop digital art projects and tools for artistic creation, located on the blurry line between software programming and art. With its projects GOTO10 is stimulating the reflection on and the use of open source tools within artistic practice. GOTO10 is also supporting individual artists, like minded networks and organisations with services such as an IRC network, code repository, web hosting, mailinglists and streaming services. All of GOTO10’s projects are based on 100% Free/Libre Open Source Software.