The TRANSIT Residency is on now. Check out what I’m up to from October 1-16 in Chicago.

Inorganisms are artificial life forms, inorganic organisms. They are relatively simple creatures, but their complexity lies in the ways that they behave when they are surrounded by others of their kind — and humans. Each inorganism knows the world in only the most basic of manners. It hears noise or sees the presence of light. It detects motion or feels vibrations in its vicinity. Similarly, the inorganism’s ability to act on the world is limited. It screeches and squawks, flashes a bulb, or moves randomly about its space to communicate. Together, in multitudes, the inorganisms and the people around them create a multi-sensory cacophony that ebbs and flows and moves about.

The inorganisms are made from simple electronics — Arduino microcontrollers, sensors and actuators — and from scraps of material found in the working space. Their construction is a collaboration between myself and the community of people who attend workshops and open ‘making’ and ‘hacking’ sessions. As the work progresses, the pack of inorganisms grows from one to five to ten to multitudes and their behaviours as a community begin to take shape.

Inorganisms explores themes of complexity, connection, and emergence using electronics and computing to create immersive, interactive experiences for visitors and participants. As our world gets ever more complex, we have a tendency to want to simplify, to find easy answers to our most difficult challenges. But I believe that there is richness in the complexity of my surroundings. There is beauty in the depth of ideas that emerge from the connections between complex issues. And so I use sensory experience to explore that complexity.

Inorganisms has thus far consisted of a series of workshops and making sessions. For more on each incarnation of Inorganisms, see the links below.