& /Play the Life/

Posted on: November 17th, 2019 by & No Comments

It is almost fifty years since the British mathematician John Horton Conway established four rules of Game of Life. This specific case of two dimensional cellular automata, however not a model of any real behaviour, provoke the imagination of thousands of people all around the world who see the “moving squares” as a prototype of life-like machine. Since its invention, the Game of Life is probably the most famous cellular automata with a wide community around it exploring the possible initial states and its computational results.

Cellular automata, discovered 1940 by Stanislaw Ulam and John Von Neumann at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, is the bottom-top computational process which has found its applications in modelling a wide range of computational problems from modelling of liquids, bomb explosions, fire or epidemic disease spread, traffic jams or social unrest. Even if the cellular automata has real-world applications, Game of Life still remains on the line between  the game and aesthetics. Because Play the Life screensaver is part of the research project exploring the possibilities of data interpretation  in an artistic way, we have to credit Game of Life as a computational image of such a romantic and emic (and maybe even more important now than ever before) topic as life itself.

Because of the aesthetic quality and performative base of the Game of Life, ScreenSaverGallery seems to be a tight context to visually explore its behaviour and its computational growth. On the other hand, establishing the initial states is the crucial part of such exploration. That is the reason why Play the Life screensaver has two parts: the first one is the screensaver itself, and the second one is a simple editor to draw, test and save initial states. You are encouraged to use this second part to explore and save your own initial states, which will be also loaded to the screensaver during this exhibition.

Draw the initial state HERE.

Play the Life is one of the outputs of the project Decentralized Big Data Collection, Analysis, Visualization and Interpretation in Art Practice, which is supported by Technology Agency of the Czech Republic and Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Fine Art.




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