Fifty Sisters, 2012

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Fifty Sisters, 2012

Courtesy of the artist

Fifty Sisters is comprised of fifty 1x1 metre images of computer synthesised plant-forms, algorithmically “grown” from computer code using artificial evolution and generative grammars. Each plant-like form is derived from the primitive graphic elements of oil company logos. The title of the work refers to the original “Seven Sisters” – a cartel of seven oil companies that dominated the global petrochemical industry and Middle East oil production from the mid-1940s until the oil crisis of the 1970s.

Fossil fuels began as plants that over millions of years were transformed by geological processes into the coal and oil that powers modern civilisation. To create this artwork, a variety of “digital genes” (a computer equivalent of DNA) were crafted to replicate the structure and form of Mesozoic plants and their modern descendants. These digital genes were used to “grow” imaginary plant species in the computer, being then subject to evolutionary processes of mutation and crossover.

Fifty Sisters reminds us that the current dominance of oil commerce originated from plants. What once took evolutionary time scales of millions of years can now be superficially replicated by technology in an instant.

Jon McCormack

(Australian, 1964)

Materia prima
14
Nov
2015
8
May
2016

Experiments on digital art & science

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