Wild Systems

The Biosphere Code Manifesto

As a result of a discussions that took place during the event The Biosphere Code in Stockholm on 4th October 2015, Stockholm University researcher Victor Galaz and colleagues outlined a manifesto for algorithms in the environment.

The precepts for an in-progress Biosphere Code Manifesto are a recommendation for using algorithms borne out of growing awareness that they so deeply permeate our technology “they consistently and subtly shape human behavior and our influence on the world’s landscapes, oceans, air, and ecosystems” as The Guardian wrote in an extensive article.

We are just starting to understand the effects that algorithms have on our lives. But their environmental impact may be even greater, demanding public scrutiny. Here the Biosphere Code Manifesto v1.0, with its seven principles.

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Suburban Utopia

Swedish Underground Cabins

If you try to picture a modern city in your mind, it is almost inevitable to think about high buildings. In this era we are reaching for the sky. Back in the 17th century however, something different was happening in Sweden.

They are called ‘backstuga’, literally meaning hill cottages, as most of the houses were actually built low in the ground against hills. By doing this it was possible to use only three walls with the forth one being the bare ground.

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Wild Systems

Tiny Robots Assemble a Room in Minutes

Dom Indoors, is the latest research project developed by a construction robotics company called Asmbld. It includes a robotic system that can reconfigure an indoor space within minutes, as well as a family of tiny robots that can assemble modular elements into walls, furniture, or costumed objects according to the needs of users.

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Wild Systems

If a Robot Buys XTC on the Dark Web, Who is Responsible?

The Random Darknet Shopper was an algorithm shopping on the Dark Web. Provided with a budget of $100 in Bitcoins per week, it selected one random item from deep web shop Agora and had it shipped to Switzerland to its makers, !Mediengruppe Bitnik. From counterfeit jeans and hidden camera baseball caps, to a passport scan and a Visa platinum card, everything was collected and put together in an exhibition that took place at the end of 2014. But there was one problem: on one of its shopping sprees the robot ordered a bag of Ecstasy pills.

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Forward to Nature

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Virtual worlds, printed food, living cities, wild robots – we’re so surrounded by technology that it’s becoming our next nature. How can we live in harmony with it? The Next Nature Network is a 21st century nature organization that wants to go forward – not back – to nature. We stir debate, create events, exhibitions, publications and products that bring biology and technology into balance. Because ultimately, we may not just have to save the pandas but the people too. Will you join us?

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Society of Simulations

“The End”: a Virtual Opera Singer, Millions of Fans and the Meaning of Death

Sixteen-year-old Japanese singer Hatsune Miku grew in short time to a worldwide popstar. With her colourful appearance she counts millions of followers on social media, she collaborated with Pharrell Williams, opened Lady Gaga’s concerts and even appeared in car commercials. She was in the Netherlands last summer to perform in her very own opera The End. More precisely: the hard-disk containing her was.

Because she is not made of flesh and bones, she is an entirely digital hologram with a computer-generated voice. Nevertheless, the huge concerts of Miku that take place in the biggest stadiums of Japan are often sold out in the blink of an eye. Hundreds of thousands of ecstatic fans love her dance moves, her dress designed by Louis Vuitton, her characteristic blue hair and, above all, the sound of her voice.

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Adam and Eve in the Garden by Michelangelo

Genome Editing – Bringing the Übermensch to a Shelf Near You

Last April, a Chinese group of researchers published a paper that set the scientific world ablaze in a fierce debate. The paper was about their attempts to edit the DNA of a human embryo.
Scientists warned that altering the human genome line without thoroughly considering and researching into the consequences could bring about unintended, unpredictable and possibly terrifying results.

From dangerous mutations and painful deaths to political opportunism and genetic-social engineering, it is easy to imagine terrifying and dystopian outcomes to this technological advance. And  it’s all due to CRISPRs: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.

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Hair Matter(s)

Clothing made of human hair. Alix Bizet, French student at the Design Academy Eindhoven, collected hair from African American hairdressers to create jackets and hats for her project Hair Matter(s). Why? Because she sees it as a sustainable solution, an animal-friendly alternative to fur and an entrancement of our cultural an ethnic differences.

We don’t know if fashionistas are willing to wear her striking outfits, what we certainly know is that our peculiar image of the week makes us shiver with Anthropomorphobia.

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