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Simulating Nature

Simulating Nature

Daniel Miller / USA
University of Iowa
daniel-w-miller@uiowa.edu, http://www.danmillerart.com/

Daniel Miller will discuss how his artworks explore relationships to the physical world through simulating natural systems. These artworks investigate the parallels and incongruities between the human experience and the natural world we inhabit. Underlying themes explored in Miller’s recent work include: climate change, human impact, the body/mechanical processes, animal communication and the relationship of technology to nature. Miller will discuss earlier works and highlight the research, design and fabrication of his recent projects.

The natural environment has evolved into system in equilibrium. In ecosystems there is a threshold where the system can no longer function when pushed beyond this boundary; Daniel Miller’s artworks explore these environmental boundaries. These artworks make connections to the natural world through the use of robotics and activated electronic objects. Projects use digital control to simulate various behaviors and generate feedback through interactions with participants.

Miller will discuss how some works reference the body and its internal movements; other artworks investigate relationships to the larger ecosystem. In some cases artworks activate and manipulate materials through heating, cooling and mechanical manipulation. Here materials flow and randomly generate new forms and evolve. Through mimicking natural systems these artworks embrace unpredictable and emergent properties of nature.