BioGraphy: An Evolutionary Art Imaging System

Aaron Davidson (
Thu, 10 Jun 1999 01:09:44 -0600

Hello everyone. I just set up a webpage for my new java program which I think many list members will be quite interested, namely those of us who are

  1. extropian artists,
  2. genetic algorithm / evolution lovers,
  3. geeks who like installing new software on their computers!

My program lets users explore 2D-iterative graph space by evolving images produced by digital genomes. The results can be quite beautiful.

The program is quite computationally intensive (especially with the java overhead) so don't expect much unless you have a fast machine.

There are some rough edges in the program, it is still largely under development, so I'm hoping this trial run on the list will help me catalouge all of the bugs (mostly platform specific issues to do with java implementations)
as well as get some good feedback on what features you'd like to see.

The web page is still under construction also, but there should be enough to get most people started. I'll be happy to answer any e-mails to help you get it running.

On a more philosophical note, I am currently working on a paper for a cyberphilosophy class which discusses evolutionary art systems such as my own and the more famous ones by Karl Sims. I would like to talk a bit about the extropian viewpoint on the aesthetics of evolved art. Some people I have talked to have a problem with me calling my evolved images 'art'. I feel that they are perfectly legitimate pieces of art. The hundreds of choices a person makes at each step leads to a very expressive image of that persons' cumulative choices. Give two people the same seed images and their end results will be completely different. It also takes some skill to evolve really good images. Some people just can't seem to get the hang of it. Since these images are generated by individual expression and intention, and requires an element of skill, AND are often damned pretty, why would it not be art?

I'd love to see some discussion on this especially from you artist folks (Are you out there Natasha?)

Anyways, Enjoy, Play, Explore, and Evolve!

P.s. feel free to send me your saved genome files of particularly good specimens ;-)


| Aaron Davidson <> |