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Ornamental Bug Garden 001: Exhibition.

Isley, V. and Smith, P., 2010. Ornamental Bug Garden 001: Exhibition. Screen based computational art work.Edinburgh, Scotland: British Council.

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Ornamental Bug Garden 001 has been selected to be exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh in the 'On the Edge of the World' exhibition (14 May — 15 July 2010) curated by the British Council. 'This exhibition draws from the rich holdings of the British Council Collection and the RBGE archives for an inspiring glimpse into how the expeditionists of the past and contemporary artists of the present have delighted and provoked us with their responses to plants, flowers and gardens. Contemporary art from the British Council Collection showcases our fascination with the natural world, whilst a small historical selection from the RBGE library reveals the observations and drawings of explorers to South America, including specimens from Charles Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle. As we struggle to make sense of changing landscapes and climates, today's artists are investigators of life, expressing as much about the fragility of our own existence as about the continuing importance to explore and preserve the natural world. This exhibition is organised and curated by the Visual Arts Department, British Council, and is part of the Darwin Now programme. Artists in the exhibition are Kate Atkin; boredomresearch; Christine Borland; Dalziel+Scullion; Anya Gallaccio; Alexander Hamilton; Rob Kesseler; Tania Kovats; Michael Landy; Heather and Ivan Morison; Simon Starling; Alison Turnbull.' Source: OBG001 is part of a series of wall hanging digital self-contained systems. This series of works combines gaming techniques and artificial life modelling to explore relationships between scientific modelling techniques and ornamental gardens. In a garden, elements are composed and managed in a way that tries to be natural whilst often combining formal sculptural elements to create a place of tranquillity and relaxation. In artificial life modelling the purpose is normally to understand or predict how a natural system may behave in certain circumstances. Here we attempt to combine the two approaches by building a population of modelled life forms into a formally arranged space with a compositional and aesthetic agenda. The individual elements of OBG001 have been generated algorithmically using software created by us, before being carefully composed in their final form. In building the garden we become the designers of closed ecosystems. In addition to considering the shape colour and form of the elements used within the garden we must consider their effect on the overall ecology of the system. For example certain behavioural characteristics or population numbers could cause the systems to reach a state of entropic stagnation. The complexities of the overall sound composition are the result of emergence within the systems. As OBG001’s colonies of objects catapult around a garden containing bubble pumping lifts and algorithmically composed plant life. Collisions with its elements trigger sounds and compose an incidental sound piece. Although OBG001 uses modelling techniques similar to those used by scientists, instead of aiming to understand something existing, we hope to build something new of intrigue and beauty. OBG001 is a biosphere; a close system like the earth taking only energy as its input other than that nothing enters or leaves. As such there is no human interaction with the system. The work is built using computer technology to execute the rules that cause the system to behave in its unique way and not in order to make it respond in any form to any external forces. (Source:

Item Type:Artwork/Design Object
Size:1 meter X 1 meter approx.
Location of Work:British Council Collection
Uncontrolled Keywords:Computer Graphics; Computer Animation
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:14524
Deposited By: Mrs Vicky Isley
Deposited On:14 May 2010 11:40
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:31

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