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Application to VIDA competition

posted Aug 7, 2011, 1:48 PM by Cesar Harada
Thanks to the wonderful preparation work of Piem Wirtz and Michel Van Dartel from V2_, we have applied to VIDA. " Art & Artificial Life International Awards". Thanks to V2_ Director Alex Adriaansens for pointing out the opportunity.

All the pieces of our applications are archived here :


Fundación Telefónica has made a commitment to technological innovation related to art as the central focus of its activities, showing special interest in support to forums around art, science and technology. This is the background to VIDA, the international competition which, since 1999, has recognized art and Artificial life projects.

The hybrid forms of the artistic proposals recently submitted to VIDA, and the transformation of the discipline of Artificial life itself, have prompted us to consider new issues, such as the rising importance of simulation in both social life and the life sciences. VIDA has been broadening its reach by remaining interested in A-life inspired projects and also expanding: VIDA seeks artistic projects engaged with any dynamic living process that has been affected by simulation.

The term Artificial life appeared in 1987 during the historic Artificial Life I symposium held at the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico and chaired by the scientist Christopher Langton. Artificial life became a new scientific discipline which uses computational means to create simulations of life and living systems. Drawing from this research, art and Artificial life art projects have a series of attributes, defined essentially by the fact that they show dynamic, evolutionary behaviors, reacting to their surroundings and incorporating natural and artificial elements in their physical appearance. A-life art projects reflect key properties of Artificial life that are shared by living and non-living systems, including self-replication, self-assembly and self-organization. The 10th European Conference on Artificial Life (2009) called attention to developments in Artificial life research itself, that VIDA seeks to reflect in its call for projects: “… some of the highly speculative ideas that were discussed at the field's inception have matured to the extent that new conferences and journals devoted to them are being established: synthesizing artificial cells, simulating massive biological networks, exploiting biological substrates for computation and control, and deploying bio-inspired engineering are now cutting-edge practice.”

The outcomes of areas of research that synthesize computational methods with life sciences and living systems, as described above, are increasingly present in daily experiences: the foods we consume, the pets we take care of, the environments we occupy, the virtual spaces we meet in, the medicines we take, or the materials we use to build the computers with which we work - all of these are subject to a volatile conception of what constitutes our surroundings. We also increasingly live in a data world where dynamic visualizations map the real and virtual onto each other, and entangle bodies, environments and networks. In the projects VIDA is soliciting, artists’ engagement with these themes and their choice of media are very open: the approach can be computational, physical, social, metaphorical, or any combination of those. Projects must be artistically well-resolved and realized with appropriate technological sophistication. VIDA welcomes proposals that advance or challenge discourses and artistic modes, tropes and formal systems, and that show both aesthetic and social relevance.

Over the years, VIDA has had the honor of attracting artists who explore the limits of life, what it is and the direction it is taking. It confirms once more that artists are positioning themselves in the vanguard of creativity and innovation in the way in which they experiment with new media, approaches and rhetoric.

Nell Tenhaaf
Mónica Bello


Now, fingers crossed :)