Friday, February 17, 2006

ELF - electronic life form

Life - we live it everyday, every breathe we take, every time we blink, every thought we have, but what exactly is it? What is it made out of and how do we really define it?

Does life really have to be organic or can it be replaced by electronic parts? The idea of sentience is assumed in many ways, humans on a whole think themselves to be superior to everything else on earth, we pretty much play god with every other species on this planet - and play god we do, creating life - it is genetically coded into our bodies from the day we are born. We seek to reproduce and continue on our legacy on this world, but how can we go about that? How many way CAN we go about that? Elf is a project challenges what is simply electronics and what is life, attempting to reach towards the goal of achieve cybernetic sentience, it is far from it, but it is the first step.

Robots still do not have the abilities, science and fiction promised us. Therefore our work is focussed on very simple life approaching systems. 'Elfs' are small mechanical systems powered by solar energy that behave as natural living systems in many aspects. The immediate compassion for these life forms is an amazing experience, even though their abilities are very limited.




A description of the Elf project from their site:

'Elf' is a two-part installation developed in the context of the research project 'electronic-life-forms' by Pascal Glissmann and Martina Höfflin. On one hand, the 'elfs' are documented in their natural habitat, and the fading contrast of electronics and nature gives the scenario a surprising common impression. On the other hand, the imprisonment of these life forms in Weck-Preserving-Glasses reminds one of childhood adventures, exploring and discovering the world around us. The light-sensitive 'elfs' desperately use their chaotic sounds and noisy movements to call the attention of the outside world.

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