CMD, the clash between finance and biology


In Michael Sedbon’s “CMD”, two artificial ecosystems, made by sets of photosynthetic bacteria, share a light source, the access to which is granted through a ‘market’. A genetic algorithm optimises the market rules. Each bacterial colony can claim access to light, thanks to credits earned for their oxygen production, with simple switches of light, determined by the bacteria’s behaviours and software. CMD offers a glimpse into what Sedbon defines as “non-human entities agency over […] ecological systems”, demanding “design and cultural frameworks for biological machines”. The totemic aesthetics of the installation and its autonomous synthetic nature reinforce this claim, crystallising the short circuit that we as humans are increasingly create between software supremacies and reality control.


Michael Sedbon – CMD: Experiment In Bio Algorithmic Politics