BioMedia: The Age of Media with Lifelike Behavior – Announcements

BioMedia is an exhibition exploring dynamic systems in art and science. These systems resemble living organisms and display lifelike behavior using interactive, digital methods.

For centuries, humans have tried to create machines that mimic life — from 16th-century animatronics to pre-cinematic moving image devices. Wheel-based motion technology of the 19th century then gave way to moving image, cinematography, the illusion of movement in the 20th century. An image that could actually mimic movement was a radical step toward the simulation of life, because until then, from painting to photography, images had typically been static. Starting with the simulation of motion and evolving into kinetic art and cybernetic theory, in the 21st century, the simulation of life and life systems through artificial intelligence and generative technologies has led humanity to consider machines on an existential level.

Building on each new development, the virtuality of photographic images forms the basis for virtual electronic systems to produce, process and store digital images. The virtuality of media storage in electronic systems allows for the variability and versatility of the content of images, which in turn introduces the viability of the behavior of the images. Media systems go beyond the simulation of motion and simulate many aspects of living organisms, from life, from intelligence to empathy. It is this behavior, namely media, that exhibit real-life actions, which we call BioMedia or biomimetic media.

The exhibition explores different forms of artificial agents and environments, as well as their behavior and interactions with other entities within hybrid contemporary ecosystems. Some of these agents are digital, computer-generated, and computer-simulated systems that evolve on a screen, while others include complex adaptive robots that are physically present in space and can manifest biomimesis as search mechanisms, swarm intelligence, self-preservation, and so on. On. Nevertheless, they imitate, demonstrate and simulate real-life behavior by responding to stimuli in unpredictable ways. The artificial means on display in this exhibition raise questions about self-sustaining non-organic life through their ability to communicate with each other and with both humans and non-humans, presenting them as two-dimensional images, three-dimensional objects, and multidimensional quantum models.

BioMedia provides insight into possible ways of coexisting with artificial life forms and, rather than thinking in competitive or antagonistic terms, proposes to imagine our relationship with artificial agents in multiple strands of interdependence. New methodologies and ideologies need to be explored to answer the question of how we can improve and sustain life in an alliance of human and more than human technological entities – especially with regard to the background of the deep ecological crisis, mass extinction and human – caused climate catastrophe.

:: vtol ::, Kees Aafjes, Refik Anadol, Artificial Nature (Haru Ji & Graham Wakefield), Torsten Belschner, Samuel Bianchini, Frank Bierlein, Michel Bret, Ludger Brümmer, Daniel Canogar, Aristarkh Chernyshev, CITA, Edmond Couchot, Stephanie Dinkins , Melissa Dubbin & Aaron S. Davidson, Anna Dumitriu, Jake Elwes, Justine Emard, Cécile B. Evans, Edo Fouilloux, Yves Gellie, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Libby Heaney, Stephan Henrich, Katrin Hochschuh & Adam Donovan, Yannick Hofmann, Yasha Jain , Daria Jelonek, Nikolai Konstantinov, Bernd Lintermann, Christian Mio Loclair, Hasan Mashni, Alex May, Mélodie Mousset, Gordon Pask, Špela Petrič, Sascha Pohflepp with Alessia Nigretti & Matthew Lutz, Nina Rajcic & SensiLab, random B, Anna Ridler, Schmithüs Alexander Schubert, Jeffrey Shaw, Karl Sims, Maria Smigielska & Pierre Cutellic, Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Martinus Suijkerbuijk, Maija Tammi, Universal Everything, Harm van den Dorpel, Jeroen van der Most, Peter va n der Putten, Günter Weseler, Marco Zampella, Moph Zielke, Fabien Zocco

Research project
Beyond Matter, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Festo SE & Co. KG, FZI Research Center for Information Technology, IBM Deutschland GmbH,, KIT – Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Opening program
Saturday, December 18, 2021, 6:00 PM CET
Online broadcast at

compiled by
Peter Weibel with Sarah Donderer and Daria Mille, assisted by Beatrice Zaidenberg

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