Alenda Chang on Digital Morphogenesis

19 Feb, 2020

Alenda Chang on Digital Morphogenesis

Alum Alenda Chang's article, "Between Plants and Polygons: SpeedTrees and an Even Speedier History of Digital Morphogenesis" was included in the December 2019 issue of the journal "Natural Media".

According to the review of "Natural Media" :

“Natural media” re-valuates the communicative potential of natural spaces, especially in instances where symbolic import collides with raw matter in a manner that hides from, disguises, or elides stark reality. It considers intersections, collisions, tensions, opportunities, and affordances that arise in the discussion of “Natural Media,” both broadly conceived and in its contributors’ particular areas of research. This collection emerges from a panel hosted by the Modern Language Association's MS Forum on Visual Media in 2017.

From Alenda's article:

The following essay sets out partial and preliminary thoughts on the burgeoning world of digital plant design, both as a nascent media industry and in more philosophical terms as a way of rethinking computational mediation of natural entities and processes. Although in some respects a critique of computer-generated plants as invasive simulacra proves valid, I also attempt to demonstrate their value as emblems of conflicting approaches to vital simulation—in most cases, digital plants remain largely static representational objects produced as if ex nihilo by design software, but in others, they are formulated from the start as changeable, process-driven, and susceptible to outside conditions. Increasingly ubiquitous, digital plants pose unique and edifying challenges to scholars of environmental media, artists, scientists, and general audiences, as well as the reigning narrow standard of graphical realism in computer simulation.

You can read the entirety of Alenda's article here.