SGI Onyx2/InfiniteReality2, interface box, serial cable, power cabel,
shutterglasses (only for stereo images), internet connection

selfdeveloped software

Bernd Lintermann


The installation is about the evolutionary developement of a three dimensional organic form. it consists out of two coupled systems. one system exists in real space, visitors interact with a virtual organic projected onto a 4 by 3m back projection screen via a special interface box constructed for that purpose. the second system uses the world wide web as user interface.

In both systems users evolve a three dimensional organic object created using genetic algorithms. the organic is defined by a genom, a set of components, which is sucessively mutated by the users. Out of six randomly generated mutations users select one, which in the next step is the starting point for new mutations. This way users choose a thread through a space out of approximately 1080 possible forms.

In the real space users additionaly change the shape and behavior of the life like organic object via interface box. both systems are coupled and operate on the same data set constituting the genom, actions in the web space effect the real space and vice versa. if a change on the web happens, the organic in the real space slowly morphes towards the web selection, a change in real space directly affects the next web action.


The software runs on an SGI Onyx2 for realtime animation of the organic as well as for creation of the images required for the web pages.

A web server running on that machine creates mutations on the genom and sends individualy generated web pages with related images back to web users.

A real time application cares for a life like animation of the object and reacts on user actions. users interact with an interface box which sends data to the SGI via MIDI protocol. the interface box provides three buttons for selecting and triggering actions like mutations and selections and eight sliders for camera manipulation and the mix up of the object shape. continuous interface actions additionaly change the object behavior, make it nervous or change its pulse frequency. the application and the webserver communicate via IPC/TCP connection to distribute changes of the genom.

A genom is composited of components each of which defining a single structural or shape property of the organic. the connectivity of a set of components determines the final form. there are components which describe the geometry of a single limb and components which arrange limbs according to specified algorithms. components are designed such that they incorporate form principles observed in nature, e.g the proportion of the golden section is used for the simulation of spiral phylotaxis.

There is a predefined set of components constituting the gene pool out of which the actual genom is assembled by random. assembling operations are the inserting, the removal and the change in connectivity (crossover) of components. additionaly each component holds a set of parameters defining details like thickness, curvature, color, texture etc.

real space

the images below show some screenshots from the real time/space system.

web server

the web server currently is available under

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