Michael Sedbon & Raoul Frese

CMD: Experiments in Bio-Algorithmic-Politics

In collaboration with In collaboration with the Hybrid Forms ArtScience media lab of VU University Amsterdam

CMD: Experiments in Bio-Algorithmic-Politics uses self-learning algorithms that test different market strategies of competition and collaboration to see which relations of production allows the bacterial cultures to thrive in the long run.

CMD: Experiments in Bio-Algorithmic-Politics uses self-learning algorithms that test different market strategies of competition and collaboration to see which relations of production allows the bacterial cultures to thrive in the long run.

Michael Sedbon does link several bio-reactors filled with photosynthetic bacteria that can trade the oxygen they produce for light, that enables them to grow and produce more oxygen. CMD: Experiments in Bio-Algorithmic-Politics, that he developed with Raoul Frese, assistant professor Biophysics of Photosynthesis and director of the Hybrid Forms ArtScience media lab of VU University Amsterdam, uses self-learning algorithms that test different market strategies of competition and collaboration to see which relations of production allows the bacterial cultures to thrive in the long run. CMD is anticipating a future where humans too are directed by diffuse digital networks that have become so interwoven with the world that they govern entire ecosystems and societies.

The post Anthropocene will be marked by the agency of everything non-human. From selforganizing urban infrastructure to ubiquitous politically driven digital networks, these interconnected systems are impacting and regulating the societies and ecosystems that made their advent possible. Facing this paradigm shift, some questions urgently need to be asked. Will this act as a catalyst of already existing tensions or allow for totally new distributions of power? CMD is an experimental setup aiming at highlighting the hopes and issues relative to these topics where the political, the technological and the ecological meets. An artificial ecosystem comprised of photosynthetic bacterial culture are sharing scared light resources. Governance of this resources is executed by a constantly refining algorithm. Like so, the photosynthetic cells and the computer are experimenting with different political systems granting access to this life necessary resource. While the system oscillates between selfinterest and communitarianism, between a fair distribution of wealth and unbalance relationship of power, the algorithm is optimizing for the greater good of the community.