How can the metaphors and mechanisms from biological ecosystems be adapted to enhance human creativity?
Understanding artistic creativity, and the ways in which computers can enhance that creativity, is a grand challenge for scientific and artistic research. This interdisciplinary ARC funded project, which ran from 2008 – 2011, looked at expanding our knowledge of “creative systems”, in particular those that include computers as part of the creative process. Using processes and metaphors from Biological ecosystem dynamics and Darwinian evolution, we developed a number of new methods for enhancing creativity in the digital arts. This included adding features such as niche construction, resource recycling and energy conservation into evolutionary, agent-based models.
Some project highlights:
- Holding a workshop on computational creativity at the famous Dagstuhl international Leibniz Center for Informatics in Germany in 2009.
- A new book, “Computers and Creativity“, edited by Jon McCormack (Monash Uni.) and Mark d’Inverno (Goldsmiths, Uni. of London) published by Springer in 2012.
- A number of new artworks created as part of the project which demonstrate the concepts developed as part of the research. These works include: Flicker (McCormack & Bown, 2010), Niche Constructions (McCormack, 2009), Sonic Ecosystem (Bown, 2009).
- A series of performances, exhibitions and workshops, including Hands Free (Guildford Lane Gallery, Melbourne 2010), Long Division (North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam, NL) and Live Algorithms performances in partnership with the Goldsmiths research group.
- A number of journal and conference papers (see the publications section for more details).
- Beads – Java software for real-time digital audio, developed to support the music and sound art components of our research.
A good review of the methods developed can be found in the following research articles:
- Oliver Bown & Jon McCormack, “Taming Nature: tapping the creative potential of ecosystem models in the arts“, Digital Creativity 21: 4, 215 — 231, 2010.
- Jon McCormack, “Creative Ecosystems” in J. McCormack and M. d’Inverno (eds), Computers and Creativity, Springer, Berlin 2012
- Jon McCormack
- Oliver Bown
- Goldsmiths, University of London