An Archaeology of Artificial Life, Underwater

Stefan Helmreich

in Genesis Redux

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780226720807
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226720838 | DOI:
An Archaeology of Artificial Life, Underwater

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This chapter discusses how current designers of artificial creatures place their creations in a medium in order to make them seem lifelike, and provides a commentary on the practice of finding genealogies for Artificial Life. Floating shows how the effect of empiricity can be sustained through the medium of interpretation itself. Artificial Life has been no stranger to epistemological debates about the relation between the world and the agent that knows it. Like the Museum of Jurassic Technology, an institution that reproduces, repurposes, parodies, and confuses the very notion of a museum by archiving and displaying knowledge and artifacts that may or may not be part of actual human history, Artificial Life simulations may be “a setting of and for confabulation where hermeneutics is suspended.”

Keywords: artificial creatures; Artificial Life; floating; Jurassic Technology; empiricity

Chapter.  5185 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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