May 1998-Sept 1999

Biotica  is an interactive 3D visualisation of simulated "A-life" organisms.

A-life organisms are object orientated programs that use ideas from computer simulations of adaptive systems (such as neural nets and genetic algorithms). These bio-cellular processes are to be realised visually in 3D computer graphics reflecting mechanisms and constructions found in cellular biology.
The use of real-time simulation will produce virtual organisms that appear alive and responsive to their environment. Ultimately Biotica  will be realised as an interactive 3D installation, where viewers are given the ability to play and experiment with the apparently living A-life organisms.

Biotica  is a Wellcome Trust Sci-Art funded project and is being carried out in collaboration
with Prof. Igor Aleksander, an AI genetic automata specialist at Imperial College.

R.D.Brown May 1998

goto:DEVELOPMENTS (September 1999)


Screen shots from early simulation (June1998) of an animated organism

(view inside organism) 

August 1998

The images below are of 3D forms constructed from a hybrid of Spring Vectors and Neural Nets.
The firing of a Neural Net Node causes a spring vector to to contract,
resulting in fluidic organic displays of movement.

Alternate Texture Maps


Biotica is under development and in its final form will be realised as an installation.

We are not trying to engineer fully formed A-life artifacts, rather to create a generative system from which will emerge forms that appear to have A-life behaviour. We are abstracting from the sciences of physics, chemistry and biology in order to realise a computational soup from which organisms may emerge.

We aim to create artworks where the viewer may become the "scientist", apparently in control through manipulation of primitives, trying to create lifeforms that are personally pleasing. These creations may then be unleashed into a shared environment, with unknowable consequences.

Sketches of prototype installation designs:

DNA like control panels enable the manipulation of primitive bio-chemical soup

Pseudo-Scientific apparatus for experimenting with A-life.


October 1998: Biotica is now a team activity, aided and abetted by Gavin Baily and Jonathan Mackenzie
where we are developing a C++ engine for generating
A-life forms using abstractions from DNA and Neural Nets.

Code named the Bion-engine