Bion, man-machine artificial relationship.


Exploring the relationship between man and artificial life seem to be the purpose of Bion, a project realized by Adam Brown, an artist studyin electronic media dynamics, and Andrew H. Fagg, an Oklahoma University teacher. The work has been inspired by the concept of primary and biologic energy, described as ‘orgon’ by the scientist Wilhelm Reich. The installation consists of a network of more than 1000 tri-dimensional glowing elements, configured as synthetic lifeforms. A small computer, a speaker, light diodes and multiple sensors are the throbbing heart of these sensitive units, that can communicate – and react – to the other bions’ inputs, and to ‘feel’ the visitors’ presence. When the visitor enters the bion’s own space, one of the them is alerted by the extraneous presence and triggers a chain reaction. A dynamic series of sounds and blue lights start to flash in the room increasing the glow as more as the visitor come closer. In the same way, when the visitor starts to go away the sensors make the system silent. The extended contact between the man and the bions transforms the nature of the relationship between them. The visitor presence then is not an extraneous one anymore, but become part of the initial ecosystem. Enhancing similarities between apparently distant disciplines, Bion starts to be part of the so called Symbiotic Media studies, that investigates the relationships amongst body, mind and electronic circuits, implementing interactive dynamics. Therefore the utopistic ambition of ‘humanizing’ the machines is on one hand responsible of not constructing an awareness of the technological limits, and on the other hand of enabling a reconciliation process between men and machines, developing a sinergy that can create endless new forms of art.

Francesca Tomassini