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Audiotierra

Created by nick. Last edited by nick, 10 years and 360 days ago. Viewed 6,790 times. #7
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atierra

Premiered at >>Expo Manchester on June 25th 2006.

Audiotierra is an audiovisual software ecology, based on the original >>Tierra artificial life project by Tom Ray. A virtual computer runs a Darwinian operating system supporting a population of artificial organisms. The operating system allows for mutation and recombination of the organisms' DNA, and the resultant code remains functional enough that the process of natural (or perhaps, artificial) selection manifests itself.

Audiotierra instruments this "evolution in a bottle" by monitoring the evolutionary process, tracking births, deaths, and the emergence of new mutated genomes. The readings which result are used as gestural control points to control the sound engine and the graphic display.

The on-screen design is a highly stylised genome monitor: software trackers follow the most active genomes in the population, and route the changes to a sophisticated granular synthesiser. The sound of Audiotierra is a constantly shifting and morphing texture, where sonic landmarks emerge at an accelerated evolutionary pace, a soundtrack to the births and deaths of entire genetic populations.

Technical Notes

Audiotierra is a two-computer installation. A Linux server runs the >>legacy Tierra software, with a Perl program trawling the log files and pushing the birth/death events into a MySQL database. A Mac mini running Max/MSP accesses the database using an >>MXJ database library, driving a granular synthesis patch and animating an OpenGL graphic display. Active genomes are tracked, and population changes are routed to various synthesis parameters.

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