As part of the Inorganisms project for the Transit Residency, I will be running a drop-in workshop at Comfort Station in Logan Square on Wednesday, October 14th from noon-6PM. I will have crafting supplies, and the “brains” for a pile of Inorganisms ready and waiting. Drop by during the day and help build the body for one of these not-quite-living creatures!
Inorganisms is a portmanteau of inorganic and organism, called so because we will be creating new forms of simple, electronic life. They have only the most basic sensory systems, much like those available a bacterium. They know the world in a single way: the level of light in their environment, the amount of noise that is being made, the presence or absence of contact with another being. Likewise, they will act on the world in only one way: adding light, sound, or motion to the environment. Individually, they are limited. Together, the interactions between them, and between them and humans, create a dynamic evolving symphony of creatures.
The workshop will focus on the creation of a body for the Inorganisms. I have developed several customizable sensory platforms (for example, one that sees light and produces sound) that will be used as the basis for each Inorganism. I am able to tweak these actions so that they reflect what you, the workshop participant, wants them to do. Your role for the workshop is to focus on the corporeal body of the Inorganism. If your creature senses light and produces sound, what form would that creature take? Where would it live? Is it floor-dwelling? Does it live on the walls? How does it exist in the world? These are the questions you will answer. You will draw inspiration from life as we know it, but your Inorganism should reflect something new, something unknown, undiscovered.
At the end of the workshop, I will be collecting the Inorganisms and they will likely be shown at a gallery (though these details are still being finalized) with the other Inorganisms that are created during this week. After that show, if you would like to keep your Inorganism, it can be returned to you, but I will have to charge a fee (about $40) to recover the cost of the electronics in each Inorganism. Otherwise, if you are willing to let it travel, then it can remain part of the ecosystem of Inorganisms as it travels and grows.