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Exhibition: the evolutive numerical art of Jon McCormack

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from September 25, 2017 to October 31, 2017
From Monday to Friday
Hall de l'Arsenal

The “Art & Culture” Department of Université Toulouse Capitole presents Jon McCormack, an Australian-based artist and researcher in computing. Leading figure in creative coding, a poorly represented movement in France that makes computer code a new medium for creative expression, Jon McCormack is inspired by alternate forms of artificial life that may one day replace the biological nature lost through human progress and development.



What would life be like if it were made from computer algorithms rather than flesh and blood? For over a decade, artist and computer scientist Jon McCormack has produced enthralling experiences of “sublime computational poetics” with the intention of answering that question. Inspired by the science of Artificial Life, McCormack weaves a unique and complex world of computer-generated simulacra – strange and numinous spaces of rich electronic beauty and wonder that remind us of nature by their artificiality. These moving image and interactive works raise questions about real and artificial life, ecosystems, conservation values, human nature and the future of our experience of natural places.

Two artworks by Jon McCormack will be presented in the Hall de l’Arsenal: Colourfield, three dynamic versions of the same software; and Niche Constructions, an automated drawing software shown on a big screen.

Colourfield is an evolutionary ecosystem of colour. Colour agents try to exist in a simple universe by producing colours that are suited to their environment. Different configurations emerge based on the strategies the ecosystem discovers for co-existance and co-dependency. 

Niche Constructions is an automated software drawing program that uses principles of ecosystem dynamics and biological evolution to create an infinite number of line drawings. Software agents draw on a canvas, leaving a trail of ink as they move around. The ecosystem mimics the biological process of niche construction, whereby organisms modify and change their local environment which is inherited by their offspring.

Two commented visits have been scheduled. Anthoniy Valchev, PhD student in Plastic Arts – digital creation (LARA-SEPPIA) will have the honor to be your guide:

  • Wednesdey, October 11th from 12:30 AM to 1:00 PM, Hall de l’Arsenal ;
  • Friday, October 13th from 12:30 AM to 1:00 PM, Hall de l’Arsenal.

Friday, October 20th, Mangabey (“Boussole Records”)
will perform his last original composition, interacting with the artworks of Jon McCormack presented in the Hall de l’Arsenal. Mangabey’s analogical house, oscillating around jazz and black music, will take possession of the Cloître de l’Arsenal –filled with deckchairs– which will turn into a “Jardin sonore” (“sound garden”).




Date of update September 18, 2017

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Toulouse 1 Capitole (UT1) is a teaching and research centre of international excellence for law, economics and management. We are proud to have Jean Tirole, the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economy among our lecturer-researchers. In 2012, it was awarded the "Jean-Monnet Centre of Excellence" label by the European Commission.

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