Morphogenetic Creations

Welcome to the first Morphogenetic Creations newsletter. I hope these will be a useful source of information about the progress of my work.

As many of you know, I left my regular work at The Foundry last October to focus on developing my own projects. So far I’ve been mostly focused on learning a number of things that I’m planning to make use of in my work, in particular about machine learning and digital fabrication.

As well as spending time on my own projects I’ve been working as a Visiting Lecturer at UCL’s The Bartlett School of Architecture, teaching on their Masters in Architectural Design. The team I am working with is focused on exploring the use of generative algorithms together with digital fabrication. In essence: what happens when you combine using robots for construction together with computational design techniques that move beyond simply using a computer as an electronic drawing board. Quite a fascinating environment to be working in, which hopefully has direct relevance to my art work.

New Hybrid Forms videos

I’ve recently added two new Hybrid Forms videos to my Vimeo channel. These are variations on work that I first showed at last year’s European Conference on Artificial Life, where I was invited to create a special exhibition in the immersive environment room at York University as well as give one of the keynote presentations for the conference.

The new videos are designed to highlight additional aspects, using data that was created as part of the simulations to show the areas of new cell growth and cell differentiation. The key modification compared with my earlier Cellular Forms work is that these structures are created by having two base cell types, and all the cells in the structure have a blend of properties between these extremes. Essentially a very simple model of cell differentiation. As cells split they inherit a mix of the properties of their parent cell and the properties of the immediate neighbours. The results are far more complex structures with regions of divergent behaviour, and strong resemblances to biological forms such as protozoa, simple multicellular organisms and early stage embryos.
Hybrid Forms: New Growth
Hybrid Forms: New Growth
Hybrid Forms: Cell Differentiation
Hyrbid Forms: Cell Differentiation

Events and Presentations

As well as the European Conference on Artificial Life I’ve also been involved in a number of other events. These include talks about Morphogenetic Creations at Pixar, a public lecture at Goldsmiths, and I was one of the invited speakers at the 2015 Computers and the History of Art Conference. If you’re around London on June 21st, I will be giving a public talk about my work at London LASER (the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous).

I would also like to give a big thank you to Carla Rapoport and everyone at The Lumen Prize. Through them I got a lot of opportunities to exhibit and give presentations about my work during my tenure as their Gold Prize winner for 2014. The Global Tour that follows the annual awards provides a lot more than just a prize, and I have very much appreciated all the encouragement and support they’ve given.

Exhibition wise, I have just got my work back from a exhibition called GLOBALE: Exo-Evolution at the ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany. Cellular Forms was being shown on two large screens showing the external and internal structures of each simulation synchronized together. The exhibition focused on art that questions whether modern technology has moved us into a new post-Darwinian stage of evolution.

This coming week I have work in an exhibition curated by the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art that is opening on April 6th with a reception at The Broad as part of the Museums and the Web conference. As well as prints from earlier work, such as Aggregation and Flow, the exhibit will feature a stereo viewer that I have created for interactively viewing Cellular Forms, as well as high definition videos of Hybrid Forms and plant-like Cellular Forms.


Experiments with Interactive Technology

Recently I’ve been looking into the possibilities of using game engine technology, such as Unity and Unreal, within my work. I had been thinking about exploring this type of technology for a while, but was finally prompted to dive in though an invitation to contribute to Paper-Thin, an online platform for art that uses the Unity engine to create an art-gallery like space where each artist is given a separate room for their work. It was definitely an interesting experience, in particular trying to get a better understanding of the limitations that working with media like this imposes as well as exploring what can be done differently in a virtual space.

You can see the results at the Paper-Thin website. Daniel Alexander Smith, the curator of the site, has also posted an interview he did about my work.

As an additional experiment, I have created a simple application using Unity’s web player to view Cellular Forms in a more interactive manner. This allows you to view a number of forms, rotate them to look at them from different viewpoints, as well as zoom into the structures. It takes a short while to download, and you’ll have to install the Unity Web Player, but I’d be interested whether it works for you and in any feedback you may have. It should work with Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer, but I’m afraid Unity’s Web Browser doesn’t currently work with Chrome or on mobile devices.

Here’s the link from my webpage for the Cellular Forms viewer.

It’s still an experiment, and for now it’s an exclusive for you as a subscriber to this newsletter. Please let me know if you try it and how well you find it works.

Prints of Aggregation, Flow and Cellular Forms

High resolution prints are still available from the Aggregation, Flow and Cellular Forms series. Aggregation and Flow are available as limited editions, while the Cellular Forms are all created as one-off originals, so every signed artwork is uniquely different from anything anyone else owns.

If you are interested in getting prints, or want to contact me about anything else, please email me at
Copyright © 2016 Andy Lomas, All rights reserved.
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Andy Lomas
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