More selected projects

Time and Terraforming: Farming with Recursive Algorithms

Akinsola Lawanson, George Kuhn, Elisa Schmitz, Alexander Velderman

Swept froward by high-precision sensors and algorithmic assemblages operating at breakneck speeds, cybernetic models of nature proliferate. Cybernetics understands systems as operating on tight homeostatic loops composed of sensors, controllers and the environment. As a systems' components are part of its environment, their relationships to other systems are in constant flux. The system's relationship to the environment is contingent and temporary, perforated like skin with blind spots. 

We explore this limitation of algorithmic-cybernetic understandings by building a simulation of an ecosystem and honing in on temporality as our target blind spot. We design agents to alter temporality from within the system, severing its potential claims to universal predictive accuracy from the inside.  

Our website shows our simulation alongside a speculative fiction piece. The speculative fiction tells the story of every agent in the simulation giving us both a profile to construct the simulation based on and a lens through which to interpret results. 

The website also includes:

  1. A link to download the simulation
  2. A report outlining the metaphysical model of time we used, our understanding of cybernetics and how these criss-cross our simulation 
  3. An accompanying soundscape to the simulation, composed from the perspective of the environmental outside to the cybernetic-algorithmic agricultural system
  4. Our podcast where we discuss issues surrounding our project