Cabinet magazine published an
by me on the work of Nils Aall Barricelli, maverick mathematician
who created artificial living organisms... in 1953!
A much longer essay
on Barricelli has also been published in the journal Grey Room.
In order to create the image on page 49 of the Cabinet article,
I restaged Barricelli's original experiments using
Processing. Applet and source code is included here.
To maximize the
resolution and readability of the image, Barricelli's visualization
technique was altered in two important ways. First, the y axis of
the image is compressed by a factor of eight so that each gene is
the size of one pixel (whereas in Barricelli a gene was eight
pixels tall). With this increased resolution comes an increase in
the visualization of evolutionary time across the vertical axis.
Second, color has been introduced in order to differentiate genes
Each swatch of textured color within the image
indicates a different bionumeric organism. Borders between color
fields mean that an organism has perished, been borne, mutated, or
otherwise evolved into something new.
• • •
Here are some other samples using a variety of different evolutionary rules: