The work of art as a living system – a beginning, a retrospective and a book

The work of art as a living system - a beginning, a retrospective and a book

For 30 years Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau have collaborated to create interactive art installations that combine natural and man-made environments. “They design their projects with open, random and evolutionary interaction systems in which each visitor generates unique and unrepeatable three-dimensional images in real time. In his works, art becomes a perceptible experience in which the user intuitively explores organic and artificial nature, conveying the idea that, as people, we are both an integral part and co-creators of living systems, whether whether natural or artificial.”; (Karin Ohlenschlager).

In 2019, curator Karin Ohlenschläger contacted us about a 30-year retrospective exhibition of our interactive media artworks. For the title, Karin chose "The Work of Art as a Living System", which is based on a paper we wrote together with the Japanese curator Machiko Kusahara in 1996. In this paper we expound our principle of work of art, which combines the interaction of user with algorithms that seem alive and natural interfaces. The retrospective exhibition focuses on 14 mostly interactive works of art showcasing artificial growth, evolution, generative design and A-Life. In this talk we will give a detailed vision of these works of art and we will talk about aspects of nature and the intricate relationship and interaction between human beings and their environment. We will also present Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau's recently published book: “The Work of Art as a Living System” 1992-2022, edited by Karin Ohlenschläger, Peter Weibel and Alfred Weidinger and published by MIT Press in 2022.