GenePool is an interactive installation that explores the topics of artificial life and artificial evolution. As we can see from countless examples in nature, evolution is a robust and creative process for finding solutions to complex problems. Artificial intelligence algorithms based on the workings of evolution are used in computer science, engineering, and design as tools to search for new possibilities, often with surprising outcomes. Because of their nature of delivering unpredictable and often creative results these algorithms formed the inspiration for GenePool.
To research its creative possibilities, the process of evolution is applied to a simulated system of artificial life forms. A multi-layered environment is created as an arena for the life forms to live, procreate, and die in. The environment can be dynamically changed by the visitors to the installation. Each simulated creature is embedded with a rich set of features ranging from the locomotive aspects of the body parts, its mass, and its field of vision to the sound it produces. These features determine how it will behave and interact with others. Features are encoded in the DNA it carries. The creatures have to survive in the environment by finding food and shelter, staying away from danger and, when the occasion arises, they can generate offspring by mating with a suitable mate.
Visitors can actively participate by evolving their own creature and sending it out into the world to see if it can survive.