The Genetic Narrative

Evolutionary Perspective

Academic Work

This experiment tries to illustrate or illuminate the process of genetical evolution in a simple yet visually attractive way.

A custom made application running live during the exhibition, ran a highly simplified genetic algorithm tied in with both a personality and a visual engine showing the discarded mutation data as abstract graphic images.

The created <em>beings</em> had a simple goal, to recreate a famous text chosen at their <em>birth</em>. Since parts of the process are tied into the DNA of the beings they don't always succeed with recreating the text and a surveillance system keeps track of their progress. If the being doesn't meet set quality requirements after a specific amount of time or shows limited to no progress it is discarded and a new being with a new personality is born.

The beings can also succeed with their task and would then... <em>retire</em>.

During the graduation exhibition of eight days over 4000 beings were born, died and documented in a <em>graveyard</em> that the application displayed before the creation of a new being.

To strengthen the concept that the being is alive the visitor also has the possibility to execute a being. Something some visitors almost took a too favourable liking to.


For my graduation, consisting of three projects, I made one poster for each project.

I screen printed a limited edition of these posters in three colours. Some are still for sale, for inquiries send me an email.

Images of installation

Graduation Exhibition

This experiment was one of the three parts of my graduation project. All three projects tried to show the visitor the beauty behind structures usually unseen or considered too abstract. Hopefully opening up a new perspective upon the world around us.

You can find the other two graduation projects here:

The Perfect Language - Landscape of writers

The Natural Beauty - Aestetic Mimesis

Technology used

Cinder Framework

Cinder Framework was used for the final product. Many thanks for the creator and contributors of this amazing framework.


In early prototyping I used processing and without those steps the final product would not have been possible.

Further reading / exploring

If you find this subject interesting there is multiple online sources upon the matter.

Introduction to Genetic Algorithms by Marek Obitko

Introduction to Genetic Algorithms by Matthew Wall

Wikipedia - Genetic Algorithm

If you are interested in seeing the source code for this project it is not publicly available. But it can be requested though an email.




Special thanks to all these open-source software that makes the tedious process of webdevelopment into an effective and enjoyable experience.