Bionumeric Organisms (2019 - ongoing), employs one of the earliest pieces of complex software designed for a modern computer, written by Nils Aall Baricelli for use on the “Institute for Advanced Study Computer” (IAS machine). The IAS Machine was famously used to model atomic blast yields for the Manhattan Project in the early 1940s, as well as missile and warhead trajectories. Baricelli’s program, however, was used immediately following the end of the Second World War to model the way in which single celled organisms evolve and survive disaster. I am interested in the contrast between these models, Genesis and Apocalypse, that one could utilize the IAS computer to first develop weapons of mass destruction, then use it to understand the origins of life. Baricelli’s software produced stunning visualizations, like diagrams of cellular growth and decay.
Working closely with programmer Michael Mack, I have adapted Baricelli’s original software to develop a tool to grow and evolve weave structures for the TC2 loom, capturing the growth and decay of these Bionumeric Organisms as woven cloth instead of graphical visualization. The resulting textiles are self-generating genealogies written line by line, pixel by pixel, by each pass of the weaving shuttle.