I have a new project to unveil: @Evolving_Art – a Twitter Bot that evolves art.
Long story short, go here and check it out!
Short story long:
For a while, I’ve been trying to figure out an interesting way to showcase evolution. The closest I got was in the creature-walking simulator The Fittest (check out that prototype here). It’s fun to watch, and I find it really compelling – but it’s not terribly interactive. And of course it isn’t. Evolution is all about letting things run their course. Creatures are born. The ‘best’ creature reproduces. And, over time, the creatures tend to get better.
In the back of my mind I’ve been brainstorming other projects that could balance the interaction and the lack-of-interaction a bit better.
And a few weeks ago one of those ideas bubbled up to the top: why not let people be the selective force of evolution? Instead of picking winning creatures based on how far/fast they run… people could just vote on their favorites. It could be something as human as “which work of art is the prettiest?”
A Twitter Bot felt like a great fit. A couple times a day, the bot could post the latest generation of creatures (works of art, in this case) up on its Twitter feed, and whoever wants to can vote. After 12 hours or so, votes are tallied, and the winner makes some similar – but mutated – ‘offspring.’
It makes people a core part of the project, while at the same time involving them only very little. You don’t stare at creatures evolving for hours on end… you just send a tweet and get on with your day. And, slowly but surely, over time, the art will evolve.
Into what? I have no idea. Maybe it will make something beautiful! Maybe it will just be random. Maybe we’ll find out that people seem to prefer the color green?
There’s only one way to find out… keep an eye on @Evolving_Art, and if you are so moved, feel free to join in and vote!