GLR-1: Zones of Potential

c. elegans

Currently in development

Project Overview

GLR-1: Zones of Potential (working title) is an interdisciplinary research project exploring exploring the use of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) in the development of culturally evocative digital media systems. The project involves preliminary research into the behavior plasticity, learning and memory of these nematodes in vitro. It will feature the construction of a biological, mechanical and software system wherein a colony of real C. elegans nematodes interacts with a virtual, computer-generated C. elegans environment, with the interactions influencing the supply of food, temperature and light to each environment. Currently, we are investigating the use of Learning Classifier Systems. LCS are an evolutionary computing technique combining genetic algorithms and elements of reinforcement learning.

In addition to exploring interactions between biological and technological systems, this project makes cultural inquiries into scientific notions of “organic computing,” altruism, mutualism, competition and cooperation. It also functions as a reflection on our contemporary relationships with non-human living systems and the networked, data-driven nature of life and ecology.