FULLY AUTOMATED CONTACT ZONE
Miriam Simun / United States
Two sites of REWILDING collide inside an AI-driven animation: Swiss Alps and my intestines. Fed real world data, AI evolves strategies for ecosystem balance inside a game engine simulation. A live stream; a stage performance with artist, cat and algorithm; an essay film braiding together philosophical questions and my intergenerational story.
Fully Automated Contact Zone (FACZ) simulates inside of a game engine, a speculative proposal put forward by ecologists to implement ”wilderness creators” – self-evolving AI agents capable of sensing the environment, making decisions prioritizing non-human survival, and then acting upon the environment to implement ecological change. FACZ evolves two sites of rewilding – the Swiss alps, rewilded with “translocated” lynx captured in Eastern Europe, and my microbiome, seeded with bacteria-yeast symbionts produced with ancient Mayan ferments – Tepache de Tibicos. Eventually the alps and my intestines collide. The work exists in three iterations: (1) live 24 hour stream of the evolving AI-controlled ecosystems accompanied by a dreamy mix-tape of music, interview snippets, and a playful narration performance; (2) live motion-capture stage performance with a cat powering a 3D model of me as I power the 3D model of the lynx inside the game engine; and (3) a feature-length essay film combining scenes from the AI-driven animation and motion capture performance with footage from satellites, microscopes, automated camera traps, a capsule endoscopy pill camera that I will swallow. The film essay will braid together key philosophical questions FACZ raises as well as my personal intergenerational narrative of migration, deportation, and inextricable personal and ecological health.