Code as Muse videos

Featuring : Cybernetic Serendipity (ICA) – Late Night Lineup (1968) …………….. The story of Cybernetic Serendipity Music ……………. Karl Sims: Evolving Virtual Creatures with Genetic Algorithms……………. Thomas Ray: Project Tierra ……………. Robert Rowe: Iannis Xenakis and Algorithmic Composition.

Cybernetic Serendipity (ICA) – Late Night Lineup (1968)

Curator Jasia Reichardt introduces the ‘Cybernetic Serendipity’ exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.

Cybernetic Serendipity was the first international exhibition in the UK devoted to the relationship between the arts and new technology. This groundbreaking exhibition, curated by Jasia Reichardt and designed by Franciszka Themerson, presented the work of over 130 participants including composers, engineers, artists, mathematicians and poets. The exhibition ran from 2 August – 20 October 1968 and was seen by some 60,000 visitors.

From the show’s press release: “Exhibits in the show are either produced with a cybernetic device (computer) or are cybernetic devices in themselves. They react to something in the environment, either human or machine, and in response produce either sound, light or movement.…

More information about Cybernetic Serendipity:……


The story of Cybernetic Serendipity Music

The Institute of Contemporary Arts & The Vinyl Factory present Cybernetic Serendipity Music, the world’s first compilation of electronic music, reissued on vinyl for the first time since it was originally released as part of the ICA’s groundbreaking robotics exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity in 1968.

Click here to order a copy:…

The exhibition documenting the original Cybernetic Serendipity show is on at the ICA from 14 October to 30 November 2014. For more information, visit the ICA’s website:…

Thank you to Peter Zinovief, Russell Haswell, Yuri Pattison and Juliette Desorgues for their contribution to this film.

Filmed by Anoushka Siegler, Kamil Dymek, Pawel Ptak and Luis Muñoz


Karl Sims: Evolving Virtual Creatures with Genetic Algorithms

Karl Sims is a digital media artist, computer graphics research scientist, and software entrepreneur. He is the founder and a board member of GenArts, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, which creates special effects software for the motion picture industry. He previously held positions at Thinking Machines Corporation, Optomystic, and Whitney/Demos Productions. Karl studied computer graphics at the MIT Media Lab, and Life Sciences as an undergraduate at MIT. He is the recipient of various awards including two ARS Electronica Golden Nicas and a MacArthur Fellowship Award.

This video shows results from a research project involving simulated Darwinian evolutions of virtual block creatures. A population of several hundred creatures is created within a supercomputer, and each creature is tested for their ability to perform a given task, such the ability to swim in a simulated water environment. Those that are most successful survive, and their virtual genes containing coded instructions for their growth, are copied, combined, and mutated to make offspring for a new population. The new creatures are again tested, and some may be improvements on their parents. As this cycle of variation and selection continues, creatures with more and more successful behaviors can emerge.

More info:…


Thomas Ray: Project Tierra

Tierra is a computer simulation developed by ecologist Thomas S. Ray in the early 1990s in which computer programs compete for time (central processing unit (CPU) time) and space (access to main memory). In this context, the computer programs in Tierra are considered to be evolvable and can mutate, self-replicate and recombine.

More info:


Robert Rowe: Iannis Xenakis and Algorithmic Composition.

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