Fractal Skin Design for VB21 – Gogbotahedron

Ha ha ha — be nice, it’s my first quick / dirty “xtranormal” video. I’ll try to do a less lame one later in the week. Meanwhile, here’s the semi-official-I-guess Gogbot provocation video:

Based on the, scandalous to some, idea that things in the universe don’t stay constant forever and that Homo sapiens don’t necessarily represent the ultimate intelligence in all of “creation,” we have the GOGBOT FESTIVAL celebrating the Technological Singularity this week in Enschede, The Netherlands.



GOGBOT is an annual Art/Music/Technology/Media Festival produced by PLANETART Foundation. GOGBOT Festival has free access to exhibitions and events at over 10 locations in Enschede, The Netherlands. (Admission only for the indoor music events) GOGBOT is also happening global online in the virtual world Second Life. GOGBOT 2009 had around 15000 RL visitors. Enschede is an Arts, Business & Technology University town near the Dutch-German border crossing of rail & road route Amsterdam-Berlin.

The thing is so massive I can barely figure out what all it includes, but an awful lot of cool peeps will be there, physically or virtually from the 9th – 12th of September (Thursday thru Sunday)

I guess our man Ze Moo is one of the organizers… or perhaps a “virtual organizer.”

He wants us to perform on Sunday… perhaps we will… 10am SLT – Noon maybe? More on this soon!

Meanwhile, there’s also an Art & Design Competition to create an image, a video or a 3D object or Avatar related to the GOGBOT 2010 Festival theme: ‘The Technological Singularity’

So here’s my entry and some thoughts about it:

I’ve been thinking about an entry for the Gogbot image challenge. A lot of “under the skin ideas” have floated thru my brain… from the bar code tat on the back of Jessica Alba’s neck to cyborgs galore to grid skin and other aspects of avatars in virtual worlds.

In the end, I think all this imagery is wrong.

The Singularity is for me not so much about changing substrates as it is about emergent properties.

We do love our “mechanism-under-the-flesh” imagery, it’s provocative and sexy and thought inducing… but it’s wrong. I think it’s really just a neo-cartesian-theater. It’s really the homunculus reborn with fancier tech.

But, in fact, if you “peel the lid” off the human brain, you don’t see a homunculus… you don’t see an Intel chip… you don’t even see a GeForce card, you just see unimpressive grey matter.

Even though we like the image, there is not a little woman inside the “control room of your brain” looking out your eyes, analyzing inputs and making decisions. And no mountain of exciting “cyborg porn” can ever change that.

From the simplest to the most complex, all the revolutions, all the paradigm shifts, all the singularities, are emergent properties. If you look at a star – a pretty amazing thing – but not a “magical” thing, and not a thing with some exotic transduction process, a star is simply the result of really a lot of hydrogen in a given place.

What about life?

What about intelligence?

As I’ve noted, there is no Itanium chip in the human brain, just a lot of neurons… a lot of cells… so many that they give rise to intelligence and consciousness.

Everywhere we look, from the formation of the universe to human consciousness we see not the introduction of magic technology but the emergent properties of massively accumulated simple elements.

And so, the “Technological Singularity?” Some argue the internet is already “conscious” others claim it can never be. Whatever the nature and destiny of our emerging “global brain” it’s power is not in a magical or exotic or even “sexy” transduction, but simply in the massive aggregation of intelligent processes and the new forms they give rise to.

Therefore, the avatar I wanted to create for this project would be not one with any extraordinary or magical properties, but one where we see complexity theory or fractal processes repeat. And so I have created an avatar made of avatars.

This avatar skin can be available in Second Life, but it seemed more fitting to put the “source code” up on SourceForge and let it be used in any SL-Grid compatible world:

“Gogbot Fractal Skin” can be downloaded here:

The support forum for “Gogbot Fractal Skin” is here:

There’s 2 Gogbot photo groups on Flickr:

And here’s my entry:

As a virtual public artist my work invites avatar communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.

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