ReBioGeneSys – Origins of Life from Electronic Art and Intermedia on Vimeo.

An Art installation designed to create life

ReBioGeneSys is a hybrid art installation and science experiment that uses the natural principles of organic chemistry to autonomously create extreme minimal ecosystems capable of autopoetic evolution. Created by Adam W. Brown in collaboration with scientist Robert Root-Bernstein, ReBioGeneSys expands upon the work of scientists Stanley Miller and Harold Urey, who were the first to create a system in which inert organic compounds, such as hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide, were exposed to conditions of moisture, heat and electrical energy in such a way as to mimic the earliest stages of Earths pre-life atmosphere and see if the building blocks of life could be synthesised inside a test tube.

The results of the Miller-Urey experiment have been recreated many times, however ReBioGeneSys aims to go further than creating amino acids (the building blocks of life) and create a fully sustainable minimal ecosystem, and perhaps even life itself in the form of proto-cells. Β 
β€œA system that can evolve by means of natural selection must incorporate means of not only producing living matter, but also to select among the matter it produces that which is best adapted to that minimal ecosystem” says Brown. β€œThis cycle of production and selection must operate over and over again across time creating a process of self-improvement that spirals back to a slightly more evolved place each time.”

The implications of ReBioGeneSys success could challenge our very understanding of how life evolved on earth, and from an artistic standpoint be the first work of art that creates life, rather than merely mimic it.

The Invisible You: The Human Microbiome piece to learn more about art and science intertwining.