No. 89


By : Arvid Jense

Entrant’s location : Netherlands



Al¿ve is the emergence of digital life: a digital species that lives on a personal app. Conceived according to the same criteria as biological life, Al¿ve makes us question the possibility of artificial life and its consequences.

What did you create?

Al¿ve is a digital species that exists within an app, which the user nurtures as a living creature. It’s a response to the emergence of increasingly complex computer programs, and raise the question of alternative forms living entities. If we're looking for alien life outside of our planet, why not consider the possibility of it emerging from technology?

Why did you make it?

The emergence of more and more complex computer programs raises the question of alternative living entities. These new autonomous systems induce an expansion of the spectrum of beings out of the biological field. This controversy stimulates subjective points of view on this essential question. Can there be a digital life form?

How did you make it?

In collaboration with biologists from Wageningen University of Research, Al¿ve is a translation of biological life into the digital realm according to the seven criteria of the scientist Tibor Gánti. It physically grows on a phone and consumes computing cycles to calculate the expansion of its body. When the phone is turned off, the machine does not provide enough resources and the creature starts suffering and progressively dying. During its natural growth, Al¿ve utilizes the phone’s memory to store itself until it occupies the entire spare storage. To avoid this phenomenon, the owner of the phone could choose to delete the app and be responsible for the creature’s death or to spread the creature to other phones.

Your entry’s specification

There are several variations of this installation, the biggest consisting of 5 pedestals holding 5 different devices with the creature on them under digital microscopes and one bigger screen behind, dimensions of about 2mx2m on the floor.