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Daisyworld, Genetic Moo, Phoenix gallery, Leicester, 2022

Posted in Contextual Research

Daisyworld was a computer simulation written by James Lovelock in the 1980s which demonstrated self-regulation on a planetary scale to illustrate his Gaia theory.

This exhibition, commissioned by Phoenix and created by interactive art-group Genetic Moo, takes inspiration (and its name) from the Daisyworld model, exploring interconnectedness as a way of making art and thinking about the world.

Daisyworld is avaialble as both in-gallery and online exhibition. To view and interact with the artworks online and find out more about the project, go to

In the gallery, the main projection is called Biocybernetic Universal System Tendency (B.U.S.T.) which was Lovelock’s alternative name for GAIA. B.U.S.T. is a multiplayer ecological art / puzzle game – the aim is to keep the world’s resources in balance. There are various agents which generate abstract pixel-based patterns representing nature, climate, technology and civilization. Waves of colour sweep across the screen from epoch to epoch. As the system becomes more chaotic the players must work together and program ‘bots’. These are sent into the world to convert, eat and excrete coloured pixels across the map – trying to restore balance and rescue the planet from destruction. You can interact with this piece online, or in the gallery via your smartphone.

Also on show is Carbon Cyclers, a generative animation showcasing the results of our collaborative Creative Coding workshops where the locals of Leicester produced their own animating Coccolithophores, microscopic creatures which play a huge role in the planetary cycle of carbon.

Finally, watching over the show is Mother: Volcano, an ever-changing animal planet.

Copyright ©2022 Leicester Arts Centre Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

A blue and red circle surrounded by a faint glow in black space

Genetic Moos incorporation of technology and computer generation was inspiring and influential to my work. Seeing how this style of art is presented first-hand in a physical space gave me an insight into how my work may play out. The local exhibition helped to situate my work in the contemporary art scene, especially given the works relatability to my own practice (projector usage, dark physical space, computer generation).

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